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Galatians 2:1. ῎Επειτα διὰ δεκατεσσάρων ἐτῶν πάλιν ἀνέβην εἰς ῾Ιεροσόλυμα μετὰ Βαρνάβα , συμπαραλαβὼν καὶ Τίτον “Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, having taken along with me also Titus.” ῎Επειτα marks another step in the historical argument, as in Galatians 2:18; Galatians 2:21 of the previous chapter,-another epoch in his travels and life. The period is specified by διὰ δεκατεσσάρων ἐτῶν “after fourteen years.” It is vain to disturb the reading, as if it might be read τεσσάρων ( διὰ ιδv ἐτῶν changed into διὰ δv ἐτῶν ), as is maintained by Semler, Capell, Guericke, Rinck, Winer, Reiche, and Ulrich in Stud. u. Kritik. 1836. The Chronicon Paschale, sometimes adduced, is no authority, nay, very probably it also read fourteen years, as it computes them from the ascension- ἀπὸ τῆς ἀναλήψεως . Vol. i. p. 436, ed. Dindorf. See Anger, Wieseler, and the reply of Fritzsche, Fritzschiorum Opuscula, p. 160, etc.
The phrase διὰ δεκατεσσάρων ἐτῶν is rightly rendered “after fourteen years,” διά denoting through the whole period, and thus emphatically beyond it or at the end of it; post in the Vulgate, Acts 24:17, Mark 2:1, 4Ma 13:21 , Deuteronomy 9:11; Xen. 1:4, 28; Winer, § 47; Bernhardy, p. 235. Thus διὰ χρόνου , “after a time,” Sophocles, Philoct. 285, wrongly rendered by Ellendt “slowly,”-nor is the translation of Wunder and Ast more satisfactory; διὰ χρόνου , Xen. Mem. 2.8, 1, and Kühner's note; δἰ ἔτους , in contrast with ἐμμήνους , Lucian, Paras. 15, vol. vii. p. 118, ed. Bipont. Hermann, ad Viger. 377, remarks, διὰ χρόνου est interjecto tempore. Schaefer, Bos, Ellips. p. 249, ed. London 1825. In Deuteronomy 9:11, the unmistakeable Hebrew phrase מִקֵַּ , “at the end of” forty days, etc., is rendered by the Sept. διὰ τεσσαράκοντα ἡμερῶν . Others give διά a different sense, the sense of intra: at some point within the fourteen years, in which I have been a Christian. OEder, Rambach, Theile, Schott, and Paulus take this view. The preposition apparently may bear such a sense, though Meyer denies it, Acts 5:19; Acts 16:9. But with such a meaning, we should have expected the article or the demonstrative pronoun. Nor would the expression with such a sense have any definite meaning, as it would afford no distinct date to give strength and proof to the apostle's statement of self-dependence. But the main question is, From what point does the apostle reckon the fourteen years?
1. Many date it from the journey mentioned in Galatians 1:18, as Jerome, Usher, Bengel, Winer, Meyer, Usteri, Rückert, Trana, Reiche, Jatho, Bisping, Hofmann, Prof. Lightfoot, Kamphausen in Bunsen's Bibelwerk, and Burton, Works, vol. iv. p. 45.
2. Some date it from his conversion, as Estius, Olshausen, Fritzsche, Hilgenfeld, Windischmann, Wieseler, Meyer, Ebrard; also in former times, Baronius, Spanheim, Pearson, and Lightfoot.
3. Others date it from the ascension, as the Chronicle referred to, Peter Lombard, and Paulus. This last opinion may be discarded, and the difficulty lies between the previous two.
It does seem at first sight in favour of the first view, that the apostle has just spoken of a previous journey; and now when he writes ἔπειτα . . . πάλιν , you may naturally infer that he counts from it. And then, as it is part of his argument for his independent apostolate to show how long a time he acted by himself and in no concert with the other apostles, the dating of the time from his first journey adds so much more weight to his declaration, so much longer an interval having elapsed; and he also places διὰ δεκατεσσάρων in the position of emphasis.
Yet the second opinion is the more probable. The grand moment of his life was his conversion, and it became the point from which dates were unconsciously measured,-all before it fading away as old and legal, all after it standing out in new and spiritual prominence. His conversion divided his life, and supplied a point of chronological reference. As he looked back, it faced him as a terminus from which he naturally counted. Not only so, but in the commencement of this vindication he recurs to his conversion and its results, for it severed his former from his present self, and it was not till three years after it that he went up to Jerusalem. He lays stress on the lapse of so long a time, wishing it to be noted that he speaks of years, and so he writes μετὰ ἔτη τρία , the emphasis on ἔτη ; but now, the idea of years having been so emphatically expressed, when he refers again to them, their number becomes prominent, and he writes, as if still reckoning from his conversion, διὰ δεκατεσσάρων ἐτῶν . Had this verse occurred immediately after Galatians 1:18, we might have said that the fourteen years dated from the first visit to Jerusalem; but a paragraph intervenes which obscures the reference, and describes some time spent and some journeys made in various places. It is natural, therefore, to suppose, that after a digressive insertion, the apostle recurs to the original point of calculation-his conversion. The second ἔπειτα of this verse thus refers to the same terminus a quo as the first in Galatians 1:18, and he now uses διά , not a second μετά , as if to prevent mistake.
Πάλιν ἀνέβην “I again went up.” On the question, with which of the visits of the apostle to Jerusalem recorded in the Acts of the Apostles this visit is to be identified, see remarks at the end of this section, after Galatians 2:10. The πάλιν does not qualify μετὰ Βαρνάβα , as if, according to Lange, a previous journey with Barnabas had been alluded to. Paul on this journey was the principal person, Barnabas being in a subordinate, and Titus in a still inferior relation. Acts 15:2. There had, indeed, been an intermediate visit (Acts 11:29-30); but the apostle makes no allusion to it, either because he was sent up on a special errand of beneficence, or because, as under the Herodian persecution the apostles might be absent, he did not see any of them (Spanheim). The record of this visit was not, on that account, essential to his present argument, and the mere use of πάλιν will not prove that this second visit is the one intended. Compare John 21:1; John 21:14.
Συμπαραλαβὼν καὶ Τίτον “having taken with me also Titus:” “also,” as he is going to speak of him immediately, and he is thus singled out from the τινας ἄλλους of Acts 15:2. Compare Job 1:4. The precise circumstances attending this visit are minutely dwelt on, as corroborating his statement that he was an accredited apostle, working and travelling under a parallel commission with the others for a lengthened period. Therefore he adds-
Note on Chap. Galatians 2:1
᾿Ανέβην εἰς ῾Ιεροσόλυμα “I went up again to Jerusalem.”
Five visits of the apostle to Jerusalem are mentioned in the Acts, and the question is, which of them can be identified with the visit so referred to in the first verse of this chapter, or is that visit one not mentioned in the Acts at all?
These visits are: 1. That recorded in Acts 9:26, and referred to already in Galatians 1:18. See p. 50.
2. The second visit is described in Acts 11:27-30, and the return from it in Acts 12:25. In consequence of a famine, “which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar,” Barnabas and Saul carried up from Antioch “relief to the brethren which dwelt in Judaea;” and their mission being accomplished, they “returned from Jerusalem.”
3. The third visit is told in Acts 15:0. In consequence of Judaistic agitation in the church at Antioch, it was resolved “that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.” The agitation was renewed in Jerusalem, and after the deputies had been “received of the church,” a council was held, and a letter was written. Then Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, accompanied by Silas and Judas Barsabas, who carried the epistle, and had it also in charge to expound its contents “to tell the same things by mouth.”
4. The fourth visit is inferred from Acts 18:21, where the apostle says, “I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem,”-followed by the announcement, that “when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.”
5. The fifth visit is given at length in Acts 21:1-17, etc. The apostle sailed from Philippi “after the days of unleavened bread;” and he would not spend any time in Asia, for “he hasted if it were possible for him to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”
Now the first and last visits may be at once set aside. He sets aside the first himself by affirming that the one under discussion was a subsequent visit to it- ἔπειτα ; and he did not return to Antioch after his last visit, but he went down to it after this visit, as is implied in Galatians 2:11. Nor is it likely that his visit to Jerusalem as a delegate from Antioch on a theological controversy was the fourth visit, for its only asserted purpose was to keep a Jewish feast. Whiston, Van Til, Credner, and Rückert virtually, with Köhler, Hess, Huther (on 1 Pet. p. 8), and Lutterback, adopt this view, which has been strenuously contended for by Wieseler in his Chronologie d. apostol. Zeitalters, p. 179, and in a Chronologischer Excurs appended to his commentary on this epistle. Wieseler, struck by Paul's circumcision of Timothy after the visit referred to in this epistle, and by some objections adduced by Baur, tries to escape from the difficulty by adopting this hypothesis. But in this visit of the Galatian epistle, the apostle describes his interview with the apostles as a novelty; while the entire narrative implies that they met for the first time, and came to a mutual understanding as to their respective spheres of labour. Such a visit cannot therefore be the fourth, for at the third visit Paul had most certainly met with the apostles and elders, and there had been a public synod and debate. Besides, Barnabas was with Paul at the visit in question; but there is no mention of him in the account of the fourth visit, for the two apostles had separated before that period. If what Paul relates in this epistle, as to the results of his consultations with the older apostles, had happened at the fourth visit, it would have been surely mentioned in Acts; but Acts is wholly silent on the matter, and dismisses the visit by a single clause “having saluted the church.” Can those simple words cover, as Wieseler argues, business so momentous, prolonged, and varied as that described in the epistle before us? Besides, if this fourth visit, which appears to be limited to the exchange of cordial greetings, is the one here described by the apostle, then his historical argument for his independence breaks down, and he conceals that at a previous period he had been in company with the apostles, and had obtained from them a letter which was meant to suspend an agitation quite of the kind which was placing the Galatians in such serious peril. In arguing his own independence from the fact of his necessary distance during a long period from the primary apostles, could he have concealed such a visit as that which led to an address from Peter and a declaration from James on points of such importance, and so closely allied to those which he is about to discuss at length in the letter under his hand? Wieseler's arguments are futile. One of them is, that not till the time of the fourth visit could Paul have risen to such eminence as to be on a virtual equality with Peter, nor would Paul have ventured at an earlier period to have taken a Gentile like Titus with him to Jerusalem. This is only an assumption, for during those fourteen years the churches must have been learning to recognise Paul's independent mission, since he had so successfully laboured in Antioch, the capital of Syrian heathendom, had gone a long missionary circuit, and returned to the same city, where he “abode long time.” There was therefore, before his third visit, an ample period of time and labour, sufficient to place him and Barnabas in the high position assigned to them. The record of the fourth visit in Acts is also silent about Titus; but at such a crisis as that which necessitated the third visit, Titus, a person so deeply interested that in his person the question was virtually tested, is very naturally found along with the champion of Gentile freedom in the Jewish metropolis. Wieseler indeed attempts to find Titus in Acts 18:7, where the common reading ᾿Ιούστου is found in some MSS. as Τίτου ᾿Ιούστου or Τιτίου -a reading rejected by Lachmann and Tischendorf, and probably a traditional emendation. He again argues that the clause, Galatians 2:5, “that the truth of the gospel might remain with you,” implies that Paul had been in Galatia before he could so write of any purpose of his at the convention. But the apostle merely identifies, as well he might, a more proximate with a more future purpose. See on the verse. Another of Wieseler's proofs that the visit must be the fourth one is, because it allows unrestricted freedom to the Gentile converts, whereas at the third visit the circular issued and carried down to Antioch laid them under certain restrictions. But in making this affirmation he travels beyond the record in Galatians 2:1-10, which speaks only of the apostolic concordat, and says not a syllable about the general standing of the Gentile converts. There is thus a certainty that his fourth visit is not the one referred to by the apostle in the words, “Then fourteen years after I went up to Jerusalem.”
Nor in all probability was it the second visit, when he went up with funds to relieve the poor. This opinion is given in the Chronicon Paschale, and held by Calvin, Keil, Küchler, Gabler, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Koppe, Bottger, Fritzsche, and by Browne, Ordo Saeclorum, p. 97. The prophecy of Agabus could not be the “revelation” by which he went up; and this visit could not have been so long as fourteen years after his conversion. On such a theory, too, he must have spent nearly all the intermediate and unrecorded time at Tarsus. But, according to Acts, no period of such duration can be assigned to his sojourn in his native city, for we find him very soon afterwards at Antioch. Prior to the visit of this chapter, Paul and Barnabas were noted as missionaries among the heathen; the elder apostles saw that Paul had been entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, for he described to them the gospel which he was in the habit of preaching among the Gentiles. These circumstances were impossible at the second visit, for at that period the conversion of the Gentiles had not been attempted on system and over a wide area. It may be indeed replied, that as the apostle refers to one visit, and then says, “After fourteen years I went up again,” the natural inference is, that this second must in order of time be next to the first: Primum proximum iter (Fritzsche). But the inference has no sure basis. The apostle's object must be kept in view; and that is, to show that his mission and ministry had no originating connection with Jerusalem; because for a very long period he could hold no communication with the twelve, or any of them; for it was not till three years after his conversion that he saw Peter for a fortnight, and a much longer interval had elapsed ere he conferred with Peter, and James, and John. Any visit to Jerusalem during which he came into contact with none of the apostles, did not need to be mentioned; for it did not assist his argument, and was no proof of his lengthened course of independent action. But the second visit was one of this nature-the errand was special; the Herodian persecution, under which James son of Zebedee had fallen, and Peter had been delivered from martyrdom by a singular miracle, had driven the apostles out of Jerusalem, and the money sent by the church was, in absence of the apostles, given into the custody of “the elders.” This view is more in accordance with the plan meaning of the narrative than that of Ebrard and Düsterdieck, Meyer, Bleek, and Neander, who conjecture that this visit to Jerusalem was made by Barnabas only, Paul having gone with him only a part of the way. So that the so-called third visit was therefore really the apostle's second. But this view charges inaccuracy on the Acts of the Apostles, and is only a little better than the assumption of Schleiermacher, that the historian has confounded his authorities, and made two visits out of one. Nor had Paul at the second visit risen to an eminence which by common consent placed him by the side of Peter. We dare not say with Wordsworth that he was not an apostle at the period of the second visit, for the apostleship was formally conferred on him at his conversion, but certainly he had not as yet made “full proof” of his ministry. In the section of the Acts which narrates the second visit he even appears as secondary-the money was sent “by the hands of Barnabas and Saul;” “Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem.” Acts 11:30; Acts 12:25. If one object that the visit under review could not be the second visit, because Peter, on being released from prison, had left Jerusalem (Acts 12:17), and could not therefore come into conference with Paul and Barnabas, Fritzsche replies, perperam affirmes, for Paul and Barnabas had finished their stewardship prior to the martyrdom of James and the arrest of Peter. But to sustain his view, he breaks up the natural coherence and sequence of the narrative.
The probabilities are therefore in favour of its being the third visit recorded in Acts 15:0, when Paul and Barnabas went up as deputies from the church at Antioch on the embarrassing question about the circumcision of Gentile converts. The large majority of critics adhere to this view; and among authors not usually referred to in this volume may be named, Baronius, Pearson, Hemsen, Lekebusch, Ussher, Schneckenburger, Thiersch, Lechler, Baumgarten, Ritschl, Lange, Schaff, Anger, de Temporum in Actis ratione, iv.; and Trip, in his Paulus nach der Apostelgeschichte, Leiden 1866. Baur, Schwegler, Zeller, and Hilgenfeld hold the same opinion, only for the sinister purpose of showing that the discrepancies between Acts and Galatians in reference to the same event are so great and insoluble, that Acts must be given up as wholly wanting historical basis and credit. But in Acts, Paul and Barnabas were commissioned, and “certain others;” in the epistle, Titus is mentioned as being with the two leaders. The question at Antioch was virtually the same as that discussed in the public conference at Jerusalem; and as a testing case, the circumcision of Titus was refused, after it had been apparently insisted on with a pressure that is called compulsion. At this visit Paul stood out in the specific character and functions of an apostle of the Gentiles; the other apostles acquiesced in his work, not as a novel sphere of labour, but one which he had been filling with signal success. True, he says, “I went up by revelation;” but the statement is not inconsistent with the record in Acts, that he was sent as a deputy. Commission and revelation are not necessarily in antagonism. The revelation might be made either to the church to select him, or to himself to accept the call. Or it might open up to him the true mode of doing the work, and of securing Gentile liberty. Or it might take up the more personal question of his own standing; and he chiefly refers to this point in the epistle, for it concerned the argument which he was conducting, and closely touched the more public theme of disputation. The first form of revelation is found in the history of the same church, Acts 13:0, but the case is not analogous to the one before us. Quite a parallel case, however, is related by the historian, and told by Paul himself: the efforts of the brethren to save his life were coincident with a vision vouchsafed to himself. Acts 9:30-31; Acts 22:17-21. As the πάλιν of Galatians 2:1 does not make it of necessity a second visit, so the history of the third visit in Acts 15:0 is not in opposition to the paragraph of the epistle before us. The historian, looking at the mission in its more public aspects, describes the assembly at Jerusalem to which Paul and Barnabas were deputed; but the apostle, looking at it from his own line of defence, selects what was personal to himself and germane to his argument-his intercourse with the three “pillars,” and their recognition of his independent apostleship. It is vain for Baur and his school to insist on any notorious discrepancy; for private communication is not inconsistent with, but may be preparatory to a public convention, or may spring out of it. It is true that John is not mentioned in Acts as being present at the assembly, as he might have taken no prominent part in the consultation, though he is spoken of as being at the interview in Galatians. It is further argued, as by Wieseler, that the third visit to Jerusalem and its convocation cannot be the one referred to in this epistle, because in the epistle no notice is taken of the decrees of the council This silence about these local and temporary decrees, which were simply “articles of peace,” as Prof. Lightfoot calls them, is one of Baur's curious arguments for denying that such a document was ever issued at all. The abstinence enjoined in them was to produce conformity in three things to the Jewish ritual; and the moral veto refers probably not to incest or marriage within the Levitical degrees, but to the orgies so often connected with heathen worship, and to indulgence in which the heathen converts, from custom and a conscience long seared as to the virtue of chastity, and not yet fully awake to its necessity, might be most easily tempted. But the apostle never refers to the decrees at any time, when he might have made naturally some allusion to them, as in 1 Corinthians 10:0 and in Romans 14:0. Nay, in the first of these places, he virtually sets aside one of the articles of the apostolic letter. It forbade the eating of “meats offered to idols;” but he represents it to the Corinthians as a matter of indifference or of liberty, the question of eating or of abstinence depending on the degree of enlightenment one may have, and on the respect he ought to show to a brother's scruples. In the Epistle to the Romans he takes similar ground, not that it is wrong in itself to eat certain meats “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself;” but the law laid down is, that no one in the exercise of his just liberty is to put a stumbling-block in his brother's way. The apostle probably did not regard the decrees as having any force beyond the churches for which they were originally enacted and designed “the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia.” The apostolic circular, which was a species of compromise in a peculiar and vexing crisis, was not meant for the churches in Galatia which at the time had no existence. The circumstances, too, were different. The Gentile section of the church at Antioch wanted to guard itself against Judaistic tyranny, and there is no proof that any of its members had succumbed. But many in Galatia had become willing captives, and the enactment of the council had therefore no special adaptation to them. The churches in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia were exhorted to conform on some points to Jewish observances, with the guarantee that no further exactions should be demanded; while many in the Galatian churches were willing to observe, as far as possible, the entire Hebrew ritual.
It is sometimes alleged, as by Keil, that Paul after the council became more lax in his treatment of Jews, for he circumcised Timothy; so that this controverted visit must be one earlier than the third, for at it he strenuously resisted the circumcision of Titus. But while there is no general proof of the assertion, the special case adduced in illustration is not in point. Titus was wholly a Gentile, and his circumcision was resisted. Timothy was a Jew by one side, and might receive, according to law and usage, a Jewish ordinance which was a physical token of his descent from Abraham. Paul circumcised Timothy “because of the Jews in those quarters,” to gain them by all means; but he would not have Titus circumcised to please the Judaists, for their demand was wrong in motive and character. To circumcise the son of a Jewish mother that he might have readier access to those of his own race as one of themselves, is one thing; but it is a very different thing to circumcise a Gentile on the stern plea that submission to the rite was essential to his salvation. Nor can the objection taken from Peter's conduct at Antioch, as recorded in the following verses, be sustained, viz. the strong improbability that one who had taken such a part in the apostolic council at Jerusalem should so soon after at Antioch act so unlike himself, and in opposition to the unanimous decree of the synod. Some, indeed, place the scene at Antioch before this council, as Augustine, Grotius, Vorstius, Hug, and Schneckenburger; but it seems most natural, according to the order of this chapter, to place it after the council. Wieseler and Neander date it after the fourth journey, with as little reason, though Wieseler, in accordance with his own theory, places it not long after the council. But granting for a moment that Peter did act in opposition to the decrees, his conduct at Antioch affords no proof that he had changed his opinion in any way. What he is accused of is not any sudden, violent, and unaccountable alteration of opinion, but he is formally charged with dissimulation,-not Selbstwiderspruch, self-contradiction (Hilgenfeld), but hypocrisy,-not the abjuring of his former views, but shrinking from them through timidity. His convictions were unchanged, but he weakly acted as if they had been changed. Such vacillation, as will be seen in our commentary, is quite in keeping with those glimpses into Peter's character which flash upon us in the Gospels. Besides, while occasional vacillation characterized Peter, his conduct at Antioch was not a formal transgression of the decrees. They did not distinctly touch the point on which he slipped; for while they enjoined certain compliances, they said not a word as to the general social relations of the Gentile to the Jewish brethren. This question was neither discussed nor settled at the council. So that Peter cannot be accused of violating rules in the enactment of which he had borne a principal share, and the objection based on his alleged and speedy disobedience falls to the ground. See under the 11th and 12th verses.
Some of the objections against the identity of the third visit with the one referred to in Galatians, disposed Paley to the notion that the Galatian visit is one not recorded in Acts at all. Some of these objections he certainly solves himself with his usual sagacity, particularly that based on the omission of all notice of the decrees in the epistle. He says that “it is not the apostle's manner to resort or defer much to the authority of the other apostles;” that the epistle “argues the point upon principle;” and Paul's silence about the decrees “is not more to be wondered at, than it would be that in a discourse designed to prove the moral and religious duty of keeping the Sabbath, the writer should not quote the thirteenth canon.” Works, vol. ii. p. 350, ed. London 1830. Still, as he is inclined to think that the journey was a different one from the third, he puts it after Acts 14:28; and he is followed by his annotator, Canon Tate, in his Continuous History of St. Paul, pp. 141, etc., London 1840. Beza held a similar opinion; and Schrader would insert the journey after the 20th verse of 19,-that is, the visit was made during the apostle's long sojourn at Ephesus, and is thus placed between the fourth and fifth visits. Der Apostel Paulus, vol. ii. pp. 299, etc. But while there are difficulties in spite of all explanations, there seems great probability at least that the visit recorded in the epistle is the same as that told in Acts 15:0 -the third recorded visit of the apostle to Jerusalem. The remarks of Hofmann on the harmony between Acts and Galatians on the point before us may be read with advantage.
Approximate chronology reckoning, according to ordinary Jewish computation, a fragment of a year as a whole one, leads to the same result. His first journey to Jerusalem was probably in A.D. 41, his conversion having happened three years before; his second visit with funds for the poor may be placed in A.D. 44, for in that year Herod Agrippa died, Acts 11:0, after a reign of seven years; his third visit may be assigned to A.D. 51, or fourteen years after his conversion; his fourth visit may be dated A.D. 53; and his fifth and last A.D. 58. Then he was kept prisoner two years in Caesarea; Festus succeeded Felix as procurator in A.D. 60, and probably the same year the apostle was sent under his appeal to Rome. See Schott's Prolegomena; Rückert, in loc.; Davidson, Introduction, vol. ii. p. 112; and Conybeare and Howson, vol. i. p. 244, etc.
After his conversion, the apostle had held no consultation as to his course or the themes of his preaching with the other apostles; and in proof he still continues his narrative. He had been in Jerusalem once, and had seen Peter and James, but he had stayed only for a brief period. The apostles whom he met did not question his standing, neither did they sanction his commission nor add to his authority. He now in his historical argument refers to another visit to Jerusalem, when he saw the chief of the apostles; but met them as an equal, on the same platform of official status, and took counsel with them as one of the same rank and prerogative. Nay more, at a subsequent period he confronted the eldest, boldest, and most highly honoured of them, when he was in error; did not privately warn him or humbly remonstrate with him as an inferior with a superior, but solemnly and publicly, as one invested with the same authority, rebuked Cephas, the apostle of the circumcision.
Galatians 2:2. ᾿Ανέβην δὲ κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν “But I went up by revelation.” Jerusalem stood on a high plateau; but to “go up” refers, as with us, to it as the capital, 1 Kings 12:28; Matthew 20:17-18; Mark 3:22; Acts 15:2, etc. See C. B. Michaelis, Dissertatio Chorographica notiones superi et inferi evolvens, etc., § 37, in vol. v. of Essays edited by Velthusen, Kuinoel, and Ruperti. Lest the visit should be misunderstood, the ἀνέβην is repeated and put in emphasis, while the iterative and explanatory δέ at once carries on the argument, and has a sub-adversative force: I went up, as I have said, “but I went up according to revelation.” Klotz-Devarius, 2.361; Hartung, 1.168. The nature of that divine revelation we know not. The apostle was no stranger to such divine promptings. He had received the gospel by revelation, and in the same way had often enjoyed those divine suggestions and counsels which shaped his missionary tours. Acts 16:6-7; Acts 16:9. The apostles did not summon him to account, asking why he had assumed the name and professed to do the work which so specially belonged to them. Granville Penn renders κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν “openly,” palam, as if opposed to κατ᾿ ἰδίαν , privately,-a useless departure from usage. Schrader, Schulz, and Hermann render the same phrase in the words of the latter: explicationis causa, ut patefieret inter ipsos, quae vera esset Jesu doctrina. The preposition itself may bear such a meaning (Winer, § 49), but this phrase cannot; for it would be contrary to the New Testament use of the noun, and would be in the face of the apostle's very argument for his independent position. Nor is κατά τινα ἀποκ . required for the common interpretation. See Ephesians 3:3; also, Galatians 1:12; Galatians 1:16. The apostle does not specify the individual revelation, but affirms absolutely that it was under revelation that he went up, and not under human suggestion or control. He went up “by revelation,” not by a particular revelation. Yet the turn given to the words by Whitby is inadmissible: “according to the tenor of my revelation, which made me an apostle of the Gentiles.” What happened in Jerusalem is next told:
Καὶ ἀνεθέμην αὐτοῖς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι “And I communicated to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles.”
᾿Ανεθέμην is rendered in the Vulgate contuli cum eis. Compare Acts 25:14; Malachi 3:9; Malachi 3:9; and Wetstein in loc. It does not exactly mean, “to leave in the hands of” (Green, Gr. Gram. p. 82), but to tell with a view to confer about it. Jerome adds: inter conferentes aequalitas est. The noun implied in αὐτοῖς is to be found in the term ῾Ιεροσόλυμα -no uncommon form of antecedent. Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35; Matthew 11:1; Matthew 12:9; Luke 5:14; Acts 8:5; Winer, § 22, 3, a; Bernhardy, p. 288. The αὐτοῖς are the Christians in Jerusalem, not the elders, as is held by Winer hesitatingly, and by Matthies decidedly- auf die Vorsteher und Aeltesten in der Gemeinde; nor yet the apostles (Calvin, Schott, and Olshausen),-a view which would not only make a distinction among the apostles, but also a difference in the mode and extent of the communication, as if he had told as much as he chose to the apostolic college, but opened himself more fully and unreservedly to a select committee of them. The gospel propounded by him was-
῝Ο κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν -the present indicating its continuous identity and his enduring work; that conference made no change upon it. The gospel so characterized was, indeed, the great scheme of mercy, but especially in the free form in which he presented it,-unhampered by legal or Mosaic restrictions, unconditioned by any distinctions of race or blood- τὸ χωρὶς περιτομῆς , as Chrysostom describes it-its characteristic tenet being justification without works of law. Though he was speaking in the heart of Judaism, and among Jewish believers who were zealous of the law, he did not modify his vocation in describing it, or present it as his exceptional work. Where it was most suspected and opposed, where it was sure to provoke antipathy, he gloried in it. But, as if correcting himself, he suddenly adds-
Κατ᾿ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς δοκοῦσιν “but privately to them of reputation.” These words seem to qualify the αὐτοῖς and to confine them to a very particular class, though to state the persons communicated with, first so broadly and then with pointed restriction, seems peculiar. Some therefore suppose that there were two conferences-a first and more public one, and a second and more select one. Such is the view of De Wette, Meyer, Windischmann, Ellicott, Bisping, and many others. But why should the apostle first to all appearance proclaim his gospel publicly, and then afterward privately-first to the mass, and then to a coterie? The doctrine of reserve propounded by the Catholic Estius is not to be admitted. We prefer the view of Chrysostom who admits only one conference; and he is followed by Calovius, by Alford apparently, and Webster and Wilkinson. There is no occasion, however, to mark the clause with brackets, as is done by Knapp. Going up under revelation, the apostle made known his gospel “to those in Jerusalem, privately, however, to them who were of reputation.” The reason, as given by Theodoret, is, that so many were zealous for the law- ὑπὲρ τοῦ νόμου ζῆλον ἔχοντες . That there was a public meeting and discussion is true, as recorded in Acts 15:0; but the apostle does not allude to it here in definite terms. He seems to state the general result first, and then, as if referring to the revelation under which he acted, he suddenly checks himself, and says he communicated with them of reputation. Thus he may have distinguished his general mission, which is perhaps alluded to in Acts 15:4, from the special course of conduct which his revelation suggested. The church at Antioch deputed the apostle in consequence of the Judaizers; the Judaizers in Jerusalem thought their cause betrayed by the favourable reception given to Paul, and their agitation in the metropolis seems to have necessitated the public conference. But “the revelation” may have referred more to the matters which were treated of in confidence with the noted brethren.
The phrase κατ᾿ ἰδίαν is “privately.” Matthew 17:19; Matthew 20:17; Matthew 24:3; Mark 4:34. It does not mean “ especially ” (Baur), or “preferably,” as Olshausen and Usteri give it. The margin of the common version has “severally,” and the Genevan reads “particularly;” but the Syriac correctly, בָיניוָלהוּן , “between me and them.” It corresponds to ἰδίᾳ in the classics as opposed to κοινῇ or δημοσίᾳ . The peculiar phrase τοῖς δοκοῦσι is rightly rendered, “to them which are of reputation”- ἐπισήμοις (Theodoret), or, as Hesychius defines it, οἱ ἔνδοξοι . There needs no supplied insertion of τι after the participle, as Bagge supposes. Thus AElian says of Aristotle, σοφὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ ὤν καὶ εἶναι δοκῶν , Hist. Var. xiv.; ἀδοξούντων is in contrast with δοκούντων , in reference to the weight of their word or opinions. Euripides, Hecuba, 294, 295. Pflugk in his note refers to Pindar, Nehemiah 7:30; Nehemiah 7:30, ἀδόκητον ἐν καὶ δοκέοντα ; to Eurip. Troad. 608, and Heracl. 795. See Pindar, Ol. 13.56, and Dissen's note. Borger quotes from Porphyry a clause in which τὰ πλήθη is in contrast to οἱ δοκοῦντες . Similarly the Hebrew חָשַׁב , H3108. See Fürst, Lex. sub voce. Wycliffe's version is wrong in rendering “to those that semeden to be summewhat.” And there is no ground for the supposition of Cameron, Rückert, Schott, and Olshausen, that the phrase was chosen as one often in the mouths of the party who preferred them as leaders. Nor is there any irony in it, for the apostle is making a simple historical reference- τοῖς κορυφαίοις (OEcumenius)-to his intercourse with them and its results,-all as confirmatory of his own separate and independent commission.
Μή πως εἰς κενὸν τρέχω ἢ ἔδραμον “lest I might be running or have run in vain.” The figure of the two verbs is a common one. Philippians 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:7; Galatians 5:7; and also 1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1. The meaning of εἰς κενόν , “in vain,” may be seen, 2 Corinthians 6:1, Philippians 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, Sept. Isaiah 65:23; Kypke, in loc. It is surely prosaic in Jowett to refer ἔδραμον to the journey to Jerusalem, which he had already accomplished. Homberg, Gabler, Paulus, and Matthies connect this clause with τοῖς δοκοῦσιν - qui putabant num forte in vanum currerem. Wieseler says that he mentions this connection simply as a philologische Antiquität.
Allied to this view is one originally held by Fritzsche ( Conjectanea), by Green, and similarly by Wieseler, that μή πως may mean num forte. In such a case the verb is in the present indicative. Green renders it thus: “I laid my gospel before them, that they might judge whether I was running or had run in vain” ( Gr. Gram. pp. 80-83). But μή πως is ne forte, and is dependent on ἀνεθέμην . Hofmann also regards the clause as a direct question to which a negative answer is anticipated; but the question in such a case would, as Meyer says, be made by εἴ πως . OEcumenius proposes also to take it κατ᾿ ἐρώτησιν , but as containing a confirmatory result, that he had not run in vain. Gwynne, finding that all his predecessors have mistaken the real meaning, thus puts it: “I submitted the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, so that I run not now, nor was then running in vain;” but it is simply ungrammatical to make μή πως signify adeo non, and his doctrinal arguments rest on a misconception. At the same time the inference of Augustine is too strong, that if Paul has not conferred with the apostles, ecclesia illi omnino non crederet. Contra Faust. lib. 28. The verb τρέχω is subjunctive, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, and ἔδραμον indicative. Stallbaum, Plato, Phaed. p. 84, E, vol. 1.127-8. It does not require that the first should be indicative because the second is, for the use of the mode depends on the conception of the writer. Krüger, § 54, 8, 9. The first verb in the present subjunctive, where perhaps an optative might have been expected, describes Paul's activity as still lasting; and the past ἔδραμον is regarded by Fritzsche in a hypothetical sense- proposui . . . ne forte frustra cucurrissem,-that is to say, which might perchance have been the case if I had not held this conference at Jerusalem. Or the change of mood, causing also change of tense, may mark that the event apprehended had taken place. Winer, § 56, 2, and examples in Gayler, Partic. Negat. p. 327; A. Buttmann, p. 303. There was fear in the apostle's mind of something disastrous, and that generally is expressed: “whether I be running or had run in vain,”-the idea of apprehension being wrapt up in the idiom. Matthew 25:9; Romans 11:21. But to what does or can the apostle refer?
1. The εἰς κενόν cannot refer to his commission, the validity of which depended not on human suffrage, and of which he never could have any doubt, nay, which he was employed at that moment in justifying.
2. Nor can the phrase refer to the matter of his preaching. He had received it by revelation, and its truth was independent altogether of the results of any conference or the decisions of any body of men. Chrysostom asks, “Who would be so senseless as to preach for so many years without being sure that his preaching was true?” Some Catholic expositors hold, however, that his preaching needed the sanction of the other apostles or of the church. See Corn. a-Lapide, in loc., who stoutly contends against all Novantes or Reformers who do not act like Paul, and consult mother church.
3. Nor can the words mean that he doubted the efficacy or success of his labours. So many sermons preached, so many sinners converted, so many saints blessed and revived, so many churches founded, so many baptisms administered by himself or in connection with his apostleship and followed so often by the visible or palpable descent of the Divine Spirit, were surely manifold and unmistakeable tokens that he had not run in vain. And these realities were unaffected by the opinions of any parties in Jerusalem. Tertullian is bold enough in hitting Marcion to barb his weapon by the supposition, that the apostle was in doubt as to his system, that he wished auctoritas antecessorum et fidei et praedicationi suae. Adver. Marcion. 4.2, vol. ii. p. 163, Opera, ed. OEhler.
4. Nor probably can we regard the whole matter as merely subjective, with Chrysostom, Beza, Borger, Winer, Rückert, Meyer, and Ellicott,-that is, lest in the opinion of others I be running or had run in vain; or as Theodoret plainly puts it, οὐ περὶ ἑαυτοῦ τέθεικεν ἀλλὰ περὶ τῶν ἄλλων . This, we apprehend, is only the truth partially, not wholly. It was not the mere opinion others might form of the gospel which he preached among the Gentiles, but more the mistaken action to which it might lead. He was now under a commission to ask advice on a certain point, the point which characterized his gospel among the Gentiles. This private conference enabled him to state what his views were on this very question; and his apprehension was, that if it should be misunderstood, all his labour would be lost, if his free and unhampered mode of offering Christ to poor heathens were disallowed. Should the church, in defiance of his arguments, experience, and appeals, insist on compliance with circumcision as essential to admission to the church, then on this point which signalized his preaching as the apostle of the Gentiles, his labour would be so far in vain, and the Gentile churches would be in danger of losing their precious freedom. No man who had laboured so long and so hard to maintain a gospel unrestricted by any ceremonial conditions would wish his labour to be in vain, or so in vain as to be authoritatively interfered with, and frustrated as far as possible by being disowned. And the question involved so much, that to enjoin it was to introduce another gospel. No wonder that in connection with so momentous a matter fraught with such interest to all the Gentile churches, the apostle of the Gentiles went up by revelation. But he gained his point, and that point was the non-circumcision of Gentile converts, as the next verse shows. We do not suppose, with Thiersch, that the reality of his apostleship was the matter laid before the private conference after the public settlement of the controversy, so that thus the “faithful at large were spared the trial of a question for which they were not prepared, the recognition of Paul's apostleship being much more difficult than the rights of the Gentiles.” History of the Christian Church, p. 121, Eng. trans. But it was his gospel, not his office, which he set before them. Winer's view is as remote from the point: Ut ne, si his videretur paribus castigandus, publica expostulatione ipsius auctoritas infringeretur. He had not run in vain-
Galatians 2:3. ᾿Αλλ᾿ οὐδὲ Τίτος ὁ σὺν ἐμοὶ , ῞Ελλην ὢν , ἠναγκάσθη περιτμηθῆναι “Howbeit not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was forced to be circumcised.” The reference is not to what had happened at Antioch prior to the visit (Hofmann, Reiche), but to what took place at Jerusalem during the visit. The ἀλλά is strongly adversative. So far from my having run in vain; in the very headquarters of Jewish influence or Judaistic leaning, my Greek companion Titus, heathen though he was, had not circumcision forced upon him. The apostle's position was tested in the case of Titus, and was not overthrown. ᾿Αλλ᾿ οὐδέ is a climactic phrase- at ne quidem; “neuerthelesse nother” (Coverdale). Luke 23:15; Acts 19:2. Titus is the emphatic word: his was a ruling case, “a strong and pertinent instance,” as Locke calls it. For various reasons that might have been deemed expedient at the moment and in the place, his circumcision might have been demanded, and yet the tenor of the apostle's preaching among the Gentiles not disallowed. But not even Titus-
῞Ελλην ὤν “Greek though” or “as he was,”- καίτοι , Theodoret,-the participle declaring the reason by stating the fact. Donaldson, § 493. Titus was a Greek, or of Greek extraction, and circumcision might on that account have been exacted from him as also my companion; but on the very same account it was resisted. “Greek” is equivalent to being of heathen extraction. Mark 7:26.
The verb ἠναγκάσθη , the opposite of πείθειν , is a strong expression, denoting to compel even by torture, to force by threats, more mildly by authority (Acts 26:11); then to constrain by argument: Matthew 14:22; Mark 6:45. See under Galatians 2:14.
Two wrong and extreme inferences have been drawn from the word:
1. The Greek fathers, Winer, De Wette, Usteri, Matthies, and Schott go to one extreme, and give this meaning, that the circumcision of Titus, as a Greek and Paul's companion, was not insisted on, so much did Paul find himself at one with the leading authorities in the mother church. But this hypothesis does not harmonize with the strong expression ἠναγκάσθη , nor with the well-known state of opinion and feeling in the church at Jerusalem. Such a statement at this point, too, would be a forestalling of the argument as based on the results of the conference. The apostle is showing that he had not laboured in vain,-that the very point which characterized his gospel was gained, that point being the free admission of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church; for even in Jerusalem the circumcision of Titus was successfully resisted,-the enemy was worsted even in his citadel. Titus was “with me,” and my authority in the matter was equipollent with that of the other apostles.
2. Some have gone to another extreme, and have drawn this inference from the language, that Titus was not forced to circumcision,-that is, he was circumcised voluntarily, and not of constraint. Such is the idea of Pelagius, Primasius, Wieseler, Baur, Trana, and others. The verse may bear the inference, but the context disallows it. The circumcision of Timothy is no case in point; and such an interpretation is in direct conflict with the course of argument. For the circumcision of Titus would have been a concession of the very point for which the agitators were disturbing these churches, first in Antioch, and afterwards in Galatia. The “false brethren” for whose sakes, or to whose prejudices, the apostle is supposed to have yielded, are the very persons with whom he could have no accommodation. How could he say that he “yielded not,” if at the very time and on a vital doctrine he had succumbed? “The apostle might be accused of preaching uncircumcision; but had he allowed Titus to be circumcised, a far more pointed charge might have been brought against him” (Jowett). And how could such a compromise in such a crisis, a compromise which the council virtually condemned, secure the truth of the gospel coming to or remaining with the Galatian churches (Galatians 2:5)? If Paul yielded in Jerusalem, why not in the provinces? His conduct would have been quoted against himself; the Judaizing teachers would have had warrant for their fettered and subverted gospel, and “the truth of the gospel” among the Galatians would have been seriously endangered. Would not the Judaists there have pleaded Paul's example, proposed Titus as a noted precedent, and ingeniously pictured out similarity of circumstance and obligation? Holding the οἷς οὐδέ to be genuine, we regard him as affirming that very strenuous efforts were made, by whom he says not, to have Titus circumcised,-efforts so keen and persistent as to amount almost to compulsion, but which the apostle strenuously and effectively resisted. Such a view is in harmony with the course of the historical argument. Though there is no sure ground for Lightfoot's assertion, that “probably the apostles recommended Paul to yield the point,” yet they may have left him to contend alone on this point with the alarmists; for the subsequent ἰδόντες . . . γνόντες certainly imply, that if they did not alter their views, they came at all events to clearer convictions. The apostle proceeds to give the reason, or rather the explanation, of the statement just made:
Galatians 2:4. Διὰ δὲ τοὺς παρεισάκτους ψευδαδέλφους “now it was because of the false brethren stealthily introduced.” The difficulty of this connection lies in the δέ , and the Greek fathers, expounding their own language, were puzzled with it: ὁ δὲ σύνδεσμος περιττός (Theodoret). The statement is repeated by Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Theophylact transforms it into οὐδέ . Jerome says, Sciendum vero quod autem superflua sit, et si legatur non habeat quod ei respondeat. But δέ gives an explanation which virtually contains a reason. Klotz-Devarius, 2.362. Romans 3:22 (Alford, in loc.), Philippians 2:8, are similar, but somewhat different. The connection is not, Titus was not forced to be circumcised, which, if it had happened, would have happened on account of the false brethren; but rather, Titus was not forced to be circumcised, and the reason was, because of the false brethren,-either they pressed it, or would have made a handle of it, and divided the council on that point and others allied to it. Nor is δέ adversative, and περιετμήθη to be supplied “but he was circumcised on account of false brethren” (Pelagius, Rückert, Elwert, Schmoller),-nor is ἠναγκάσθη to be simply repeated. The construction is probably of a more general nature, and apparently refers to some unexpressed connection between the expected and the actual result of the conference with the apostles, the difference being caused by the efforts of the false brethren. The clause has also a sort of double connection,-one suggested by δέ with the verse before it, and one carried on by οἷς with the verse after it. The connection is thus peculiar. The suppositions of an anakolouthon- διὰ τ . ψευδ . . . . οἷς οὐδε , Galatians 2:5 -or of a blending of two constructions, the οἷς of Galatians 2:5 being redundant or resumptive (Winer, Wieseler, Hilgenfeld, Windischmann, Rinck, and Hofmann), need not be detailed. The apostle's words, though loose in connection, may be otherwise unravelled, though not perhaps to one's complete satisfaction. There is, as Lightfoot says, some “shipwreck of grammar. He must maintain his own independence, and not compromise the position of the twelve. There is need of plain speaking, and there is need of reserve.” Yet one may say with Luther, Condonandum est Spiritui Sancto in Paulo loquenti si peccet aliquando in grammaticam. Ipse magno ardore loquitur. Qui vero ardet, non potest exacte in dicendo observare regulas grammaticas et praecepta rhetorica.
It is an unnatural and far-fetched connection given by Storr, Borger, Rosenmüller, Stroth, Olshausen, Hermann, and Gwynne, to connect this verse with ἀνέβην , or with ἀνεθέμην (Turner). Nor was it necessary to write, “Titus was not allowed to be circumcised, yea not; on account of false brethren.” The preposition διά assigns the reason- propter. Matthew 24:22; Acts 16:3; Romans 8:20. The more abstruse meaning assigned by Wieseler is not in point, at least is not necessary. The διά gives the ground for the preceding statement as a whole, but specially for the non-circumcision of Titus.
Who the ψευδάδελφοι in Jerusalem, not Antioch (Fritzsche), precisely were-and the article gives them a known prominence-we know not. 2 Corinthians 11:26. The apostles certainly did not coincide with them; and they must have been Judaizers, though all Judaizers might not be called “false brethren,’ for many were no doubt sincere Christians, though zealous of the law. But this faction who clamoured for circumcision were Christians only by profession,-owning the Messiahship so far as to secure admission to the church, but still Jews in their slavish attachment to the old economy and its ritual, and in their belief of its permanent and universal obligation. Epiphanius affirms that they were Cerinthus and his party: Haeres. 28.4. Their mode of introduction showed what they were- τοὺς παρεισάκτους . The word occurs only here; the verb is used in 2 Peter 2:1, and the term is also found in the prologue to the son of Sirach. It appears to be sometimes used simply for a stranger, and is rendered by Hesychius and Suidas ἀλλότριος , and it is found with the same meaning in Polybius more than once; but the additional sense of surreptitious ( subintroductitios, Tertullian) was in course of time attached to it, as its verb here implies. Or may not the term mean that their falsehood lay in their surreptitious introduction to the company of the apostles, not their admission into the church,-that they were false in professing to be brethren, while yet they were only spies, not from curiosity, but from an earnest and insidious longing to enslave the Gentile converts? Further are they characterized:
Οἵτινες παρεισῆλθον “who came in stealthily.” Οἵτινες , “as being a class of men who.” Jelf, § 816; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. sub voce-significatio non tam causalis, quam explicativa; Bornemann, Scholia in Luc. p. 135, comp. Jude 1:4. The verb is applied to Simon Magus in the Clementine Homilies, 2.23. Their first object was-
Κατασκοπῆσαι τὴν ἐλευθερίαν ἡμῶν ἣν ἔχομεν ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ “to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus.” Joshua 2:2-3; 2Sa 10:3 , 1 Chronicles 19:3, where it stands for the Hebrew רִגֵּל ; Xen. Mem. 2.1, 22; Polybius, 5.20, 2; Eurip. Hel. 1607. Their work was that of spies-inspection for a sinister purpose. The aorist may refer to the act as done before they were detected; or they had no sooner done with spying out our liberty, than their design became apparent. The liberty referred to in the clause is not spiritual liberty in general, nor independence of human authority (Köhler), but freedom in the sphere where it was menaced and threatened to be curtailed. It was freedom from the Mosaic ritual, but not in and by itself; for that freedom contained in it at the same time justification by faith without deeds of law. This liberty is precious-
῝Ην ἔχομεν ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ “which we have in Christ Jesus.” It is ours, ἡμῶν , for we are having it in Christ Jesus. It is our present, our asserted possession. See Ephesians 1:7. Its element of being is “in Christ Jesus,”-not by Him (Fritzsche, Brown), though He did secure it, but in Him through living faith, and in Him by fellowship with Him. By Him it was secured to us, but in Him we possess it. Their purpose was-
῞Ινα ἡμᾶς καταδουλώσουσιν “in order that they might bring us into utter bondage.” The ἡμᾶς are not all Christians, or the apostle and the heathen Christians (Usteri, Meyer, Wieseler, Hofmann), but as in contrast with ὑμᾶς it is more distinctive, and is restricted at the moment to the apostle, Titus, and Barnabas, with perhaps the deputation from Antioch representing the freer party in the church. Still, what was true of the ἡμεῖς at that moment as a representative party holds true of all believers. F, G read ἵνα μή . The Textus Receptus has καταδουλώσωνται , vindicated by Reiche, with K and the Greek fathers who virtually use the middle; but the other reading has in its favour A, B 1 , C, D, א , and it is received by Lachmann and Tischendorf. B 2 , F, G have the subjunctive καταδουλώσωσιν . The future is the most probable as the rarest form of construction, for the future indicative is very uncommon after ἵνα , though found in John 17:2 ( Lect. Var.), Revelation 3:9; Revelation 8:3; Revelation 22:14. Winer, § 41. The change to the subjunctive is thus easily accounted for. There is no reason whatever for Bloomfield's assertion, that the received reading was altered on account of ignorance of the proper force of the middle voice, for the middle voice would be inappropriate here, since the subjection is not to themselves, but to the law; or for Fritzsche's opinion, that the future is only the subjunctive aorist- depravatum. The term ἵνα points to the final cause, and the κατά in composition deepens the meaning of the verb. The connection with the future is rare, though ὅπως is so employed. Gayler, Part. Neg. p. 169, says that it is used sensu improprio finem spectante. Hom. Il. 7.353, 21.314. In connection with ὅπως μή , see Schaefer, Annot. in Demosth. Ol. III. vol. i. p. 277. According to Winer, § 41, the future expresses duration, or a continued state; according to others, confident anticipations of the result; or, as Alford gives it, “certain sequence in the view of the agent;” or as Meyer puts it, they expected the result as certain and enduring- als gewiss und fortdauernd. Schmalfeld, § 142; Klotz-Devarius, p. 683. It probably indicates purpose realized in the view of the false teachers.
Galatians 2:5. Οἷς οὐδὲ πρὸς ὥραν εἴξαμεν τῇ ὑποταγῇ “To whom not even for an hour did we yield in subjection.” The reading οἷς οὐδέ has preponderant authority. The words are found in all Greek uncial codices except D at first hand, and in almost all the cursives, in a host of versions and originally in the Vulgate. Many of the Greek and Latin fathers so read also. Ambrosiaster refers to the reading, and so does Jerome: quibus neque. But some of the Latin fathers omitted the negative. Tertullian justifies the omission, reading nec ad horam, and accuses Marcion of vitiatio Scripturae, for Paul did sometimes yield, ad tempus. The omission thus arose from the grammatical difficulty, and the desire to preserve the consistency of the apostle who had circumcised Timothy. The verb occurs only here, and by the aorist refers to the historic past. The dative ὑποταγῇ is that of manner, the article τῇ before the abstract noun specifying it as the obedience which was demanded or expected, not “the submission we were taunted with,” in the circumcision of Titus (Lightfoot). The noun does not signify obedience to Christ- Jesu obsequio (Hermann), but refers to the οἷς , the false brethren in Jerusalem, on account of whom and whose conduct Titus was not compelled to be circumcised. The ὑποταγῇ claimed was a specimen of the καταδούλωσις designed against them. Its resolution by Winer and Usteri into εἰς τὴν ὑποταγήν , or by Bloomfield into πρὸς τ . ὑποτ ., is not to be thought of; nor can it mean, as with the older interpreters, δἰ ὑποταγῆς , per subjectionem (Calvin), nor is it in apposition with οἷς (Matthies). The subjection was not yielded for the briefest space, οὐδὲ πρὸς ὥραν “not even for an hour.” 2 Corinthians 7:8; Philemon 1:15. This natural interpretation of the clause goes directly against those who, thinking that Paul voluntarily circumcised Titus, are obliged to strain the meaning thus: obsequium se praestitisse Paulus profitetur, sed non ita praestitisse ut illis se victum donet vel de jure suo aliquid cederet. See Elwert. And the purpose was-
῞Ινα ἡ ἀλήθεια τοῦ εὐαγγελίου διαμείνῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς “that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” “The truth of the gospel” is not simply the true gospel, but truth as a distinctive element of the gospel,-opposed to the false views of its cardinal doctrine which the reactionary Judaists propounded. That truth was, in its negative aspect, the non-obligation of the Mosaic law on Gentile believers,-in its positive aspect, justification by faith. The long theological note of Matthies is foreign to the point and the context. The διά in the verb is intensive “might endure,” ad finem usque. Heb 1:11 ; 2 Peter 3:4; Wilke, sub voce. The phrase πρὸς ὑμᾶς means, with you-you Galatians, the readers of the epistle. It is an instance, as Alford remarks, “in which we apply home to the particular, what, as matter of fact, it only shares as included in the general.” The apostle's motive in resistance was pure and noble, and the Galatians should have highly appreciated it.
Galatians 2:6. ᾿Απὸ δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι “But from those high in reputation.” The construction is plainly broken and involved. It is evident from this clause that the first intention was to end the sentence with οὐδὲν προσελαβόμην ; or, judging from the words actually employed, it might or would have been ἐμοὶ οὐδὲν προσανετέθη “but from those high in reputation nothing was added to me;” instead of which he writes: “From them who are high in reputation-to me these persons high in reputation added nothing.” The construction begins with ἀπό , and passively, then two parenthetical clauses intervene, and the parenthesis is not formally terminated, but passes into the connected active clause, ἐμοὶ γὰρ . Winer, § 63. The apostle is still asserting his apostolic independence. First, generally, he went into conference with the οἱ δοκοῦντες , and he got nothing from them-no additional element of information or authority. His commission did not receive any needed imprimatur from them. But, secondly, the apostle, on referring to the οἱ δοκοῦντες , and while such a result as we have just given is before his mind, is anxious that his relation to them should be distinctly apprehended-that he met them on a perfect equality; and so he interjects, “Whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me.” Then, thirdly, to show that this declaration was no disparagement of them on any personal ground, he subjoins, as if in defence or explanation, “God accepteth no man's person.” And, lastly, going back to his intended statement, but with an emphatic change of construction, he concludes, “To me, it is true, those who are high in reputation added nothing.” The anakolouthon is the result of mental hurry, the main thought and subordinate ideas struggling for all but simultaneous utterance,-his anxiety to be distinctly understood in a matter of such high moment as the independency of his apostleship and teaching, leads him to commence with a statement, then to guard it, and then to explain the very guard. This throng of ideas throws him off from his construction which he does not formally resume, but ends with a different and decided declaration. Such, generally, is, we think, the structure of these clauses of terse outspokenness.
More particularly: ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι “But from them who were esteemed something,”-literally, “who were” or “are in high estimation;” qui videbantur, Vulgate; “which seme to be great,” Tyndale. The δέ is resumptive of the thought first alluded to in Galatians 2:2, but going off from the previous statement. The phrase is not to be taken subjectively, or as meaning “who thought themselves to be something.” Examples of similar language are: ὑπὸ πολλῶν καὶ δοκούντων εἶναί τι , Plato, Gorg. p. 472, A; ἐὰν δοκῶσί τι εἶναι μηδὲν ὄντες , Apolog. 41, E. See also Wetstein, in loc. There is apparently a slight element of depreciation in these quotations, but not in the clause before us. If those in whose estimation they stood so high were the Judaizing faction, such an inference might be legitimate, and Bengel and Wieseler adopt it; but if the persons who held them in honour were the church-and such seems the case from Galatians 2:9 -then the words simply indicate the high position of the individuals referred to. See under Galatians 2:2. The next clause is explanatory-
῾Οποῖοί ποτε ἦσαν , οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει “whatsoever they were, it matters nothing to me;” quales aliquando fuerint, Vulgate. Some give ποτέ the sense of olim, and understand the reference to be to the apostles and their past connection with Christ during His public ministry (Luther, Beza, Hilgenfeld, Olshausen); while others refer it to the life of the apostles prior to their call by Christ “Whatever they had been”-sinners (Estius after Augustine); or but unlearned and ignorant fishermen (Ambrosiaster, Thomas Aquinas, Anselm, Cajetan, and a-Lapide). Others suppose a reference to previous opinions subversive of the gospel held by them (Gwynne), or to the past time, when they were apostles, but himself was alienus a fide Christi (Calvin). Hofmann and Usteri make it “whether apostles or not.” The first of these views is not without plausibility, for the prevailing sense of ποτέ in the New Testament is temporal; but it is too pointed to be contained in these simple words, and the reference is one not employed by the apostle usually when he maintains his equality. He says that he had what they had as in 1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians 15:10, but does not refer to their personal connection with Christ as giving them any official advantage over him, for he was not a “whit behind the very chiefest apostles”- τῶν ὑπερλίαν ἀποστόλων . 2 Corinthians 11:5. The apostle speaks simply of their position in the church when he conferred with them, or rather, of the honour they were held in at the period of his writing. The ποτέ , therefore, may be used in an intensive sense- cunque -as often in interrogations.
Οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει “nothing to me it matters:” the stress on οὐδέν -utter indifference. The present διαφέρει does not express his present view of the case, but his view at the time, vividly recalled, or assuming the present. Phrynichus says, p. 394, λέγε οὖν τί διαφέρει , quoting Demosthenes against the use of the dative τίνι , as μοι here. Lobeck, however, quotes in correction from Aristotle, τίνι διαφέρει τὰ ἄῤῥενα , De Part. Animal. 8.555; Xenophon, Hier. 1, 7, οὐκ οἶδ᾿ εἴ τινι διαφέρει . Plato uses both dative and accusative, Alcibiades, 1.109 B; and AElian also has ζεῦγος γὰρ ἤ τινι ἢ οὐδὲν διαφέρει , Hist. Animal. 14.26, vol. i. p. 327, ed. Jacobs. Chrysostom writes too strongly in saying that “he presses hard on the apostles for the sake of the weak.” Theophylact, on the other hand, says, οὐκ ἐξουθενῶν τοὺς ἁγίους “not vilipending those holy men.” It matters nothing to me, and the reason is-
Πρόσωπον Θεὸς ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει “God accepteth no man's person.” The asyndeton, or want of any connecting particle, gives point to the statement (Winer, § 60), and by the peculiar order of the words the emphatic Θεός is placed next the contrasted ἀνθρώπου . The phrase πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν is a Hebraism, a translation of נָשָׂפָנִים , which means “to favour, to show favour,”-used first of all in a good sense-of God in Genesis 19:21; Genesis 32:20; 1 Samuel 25:35; 2 Kings 3:14; Job 42:8;-then specially in a bad sense to show undue favour to, Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalms 82:2; Proverbs 18:5; Sir 4:27 . But in the New Testament the phrase is invariably used in a bad sense: Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:14; Luke 20:21, etc.;-to favour one for mere face or appearance, James 2:1-7. Hence the nouns προσωποληψία , προσωπολήπτης , and the corresponding verb. God is impartial in the bestowment of His gifts and in the selection of His instruments. The apostle takes God for his model, and he judges and acts accordingly. “I acted,” as if he had said, “in my estimate of these men, and in my conference with them, without regard to such external elements as often influence human judgments and occasionally warp them.” He showed no undue leaning on them, though they justly stood so high in the esteem and confidence of the mother church in Jerusalem. Koppe's conjecture, that the apostle might be thinking of his mean bodily appearance, is really bathos. Chrysostom gives another turn to the thought: “Although they allow circumcision, they shall render an account to God; for God will not accept their persons because they are great in rank and station.” But this future and judicial reference is not in the context, which is describing present feeling and events.
The resumed statement is:
᾿Εμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες οὐδὲν προσανέθεντο “to me in fact those in repute communicated nothing,”- ἐμοί emphatic. If γάρ assign a reason, it may be connected with οὐδέν , μοι διαφέρει “it matters nothing to me, for they added nothing to me;” or it may be joined to the preceding clause, πρόσωπον Θεὸς ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει -God is impartial, for He has put me on the same level ( auf so gleiche Linie, Meyer) with the persons so high in reputation. Both connections appear unnatural, linking what is the main thought to a clause subordinate and virtually parenthetical. Nor will ἐμοὶ γάρ bear to be translated mihi inquam (Peile, Scholefield). But γάρ may be regarded rather as explicative. Donaldson, § 618, says γάρ is often placed first with an explanatory clause. Composed of γε , verily, combined with ἄρα , “therefore,” it signifies “the fact is,” “in fact, as the case stands.” Klotz-Devarius, 2.233; Kühner, § 324, 2.
The verb προσανατίθημι is to impart, to communicate; in the middle voice “on their part.” This is the real signification of the verb, though the idea of “additional” or new be found in it by Beza, Erasmus, Bengel, Winer, Usteri, Wieseler, Hilgenfeld, and others; but προς - in composition will not signify insuper. Though, however, the signification of the verb be simply “they imparted,” the sense or inference plainly is, they imparted nothing new,-as Meyer has it, um mich zu belehren. The men of note, οἱ δοκοῦντες , imparted nothing-nothing which was so unknown, that he felt himself instructed in his preaching or strengthened in his commission. The least that can be said is, they did not interfere with him, and they felt that they could not. Chrysostom is therefore too strong when he explains it, τουτέστι , μαθόντες τὰ ἐμὰ οὐδὲν προσέθηκαν , οὐδὲν διώρθωσαν . In a word, the apostle makes this statement in no spirit of vainglory, but simply narrates the naked facts.
Other forms of exegesis have been tried. 1. Some render the first clause, as Gomarus, Borger, Bagge, quod attinet ad -as regards the persons high in repute,-thus giving ἀπό the sense of περί , and rendering the next clause, as Theophylact, οὐδεμία μοι φροντὶς , or as Olshausen paraphrases, “I do not trouble myself about the distinguished apostles in the matter.” 2. Homberg in his Parerga, p. 275, thus renders: ab illis vero, qui videntur esse aliquid, non differo. Vult enim, he adds, se non esse minorem reliquis, quanticunque etiam fuerint. This interpretation makes ἀπό superfluous, and also μοι , consueto pleonasmo; and Homberg quotes in justification several examples which are far from bearing him out-admitting, too, that the clause is the same in meaning with οὐδὲν διαφέρω . (Similarly Ewald.) 3. Elsner, throwing ἀπό aside, renders, qui videbantur esse aliquid nihil ad me, nulla ab illis pervenit ad me utilitas. 4. Heinsius, keeping ἀπό , renders, de iis autem qui existimantur esse aliquid, qualescunque ii fuerint, nihil mihi accedit,-a meaning which the verb will not bear. 5. Bengel's paraphrase is, Nihil mea interest quales tandem fuerint illi ex insignioribus, etc.: this would require in the last clause ἀπὸ τῶν δοκούντων , and the paraphrase is very loose and disjointed. 6. As remote from the context, and subversive of the order of thought, are the two methods proposed by Kypke, which need not be given at length; one of them, reckoned by him the preferable, being, “It matters not to me whether these false brethren were held in high esteem or not.” 7. Rückert gives the sense as, Was ihn anlangt, ist es mir ganz gleichgultig -an exegesis not unlike that of Castalio, Calovius, Zachariae. 8. Still worse is the exegesis of Zeltner, given by Wolf: “Of those who seemed to be somewhat- τί , what? What, in a word, of those in repute? What they were formerly, whether they held another opinion or not, I am not concerned;”-the view also of Schrader. 9. Hermann proposes an aposiopesis, ἀπὸ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι - quid metuerim? But this is not the kind of style for such an oratorical pause. 10. Köhler joins the clause to the last clause of the previous verse: “That the truth of the gospel might remain with you, (as a gift) from those who were high in reputation.” But this exegesis mars the unity of thought, and the persons high in reputation were not specially concerned with the preaching and permanence of a free gospel among the Gentiles. 11. Wordsworth, after Bengel, calls ἀπό paraphrastic, and takes it as indicating origin or quarter: “But it is no matter to me what sort of persons were from those who seemed to be somewhat.” So also Gwynne, who finds the syntax to be remarkably simple, and its parsing a “schoolboy's” exercise. On the other hand, Laurent conjectures that the difficulty arises from the apostle's habit of adding marginal notes to his epistles after he had dictated them, and that Galatians 2:6 is one of these notes: Neutest. Studien, p. 29, Gotha 1866. 12. Hofmann contrives to construe without any anakolouthon, making the parenthesis begin with ὁποῖοι , and ending it with ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον , which words he dissevers from Galatians 2:7 for this purpose,-a clever but quite unnatural mode of sequence. All these forms of exegesis, more or less ingenious, are out of harmony with the context and the plain significance of the terms employed, in such broken and hurried statements.
They not only gave me no instructions, as if my course had been disapproved by them, “but on the contrary”- ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον -their conduct was the very opposite; neither jealousy, nor disparagement of me-far from it, “but on the contrary, they gave me the right hand of fellowship.”
Galatians 2:7. ᾿Αλλὰ τοὐναντίον , ἰδόντες ὅτι πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας , καθὼς Πέτρος τῆς περιτομῆς “But on the contrary, seeing that I have been entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter was with that of the circumcision.” The passive verb governs the accusative of the thing, the active combining a dative with it. Romans 3:2, 1 Corinthians 9:17, 1 Timothy 1:11; Winer, § 32, 5; Polybius, 31.26, 7. Other examples may be found in Fischer, ad Weller. Gram. Graec. vol. iii. p. 437. The perfect passive, emphatic by position, denotes the duration of the trust, or that he still held it. The resolution of the more idiomatic πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγ . into πεπίστευταί μοι τὸ εὐαγ . is found in F, G.
The noun ἀκροβυστίας , “of the uncircumcision,” is equivalent to τῶν ἀκροβύστων , Romans 2:26; Romans 3:30,-the gospel as addressed to them or belonging to them, the gospel as it was preached by him among the Gentiles. Of course, the gospel of the circumcision is that belonging to Jews, as specially preached to them by Peter- καθώς . It is plain that this agreement was the result of the apostle's frank disclosures. They had confidence in his statements, and seeing that his was a divine stewardship for a special sphere of labour, they could not, they durst not, oppose it. It might not be in all points to their perfect liking, it might not quite tally with their ideas of becomingness; but they could not set themselves against it. They now did more than allow Paul “to fight his own battle” (Jowett): not only did they leave him undisturbed in the field, but the council, after a characteristic address by Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, and on the motion of James, sent out an edict which must have smoothed away some prejudices and confirmed the success of the apostle among the Gentiles. One should like so much to know what the beloved disciple said at the private conference, or what he who lay in the Master's bosom addressed to the public assembly.
The verse implies that Peter was a representative of the other apostles who laboured among the circumcision. Yet he had been the first to evangelize and baptize the heathen (Acts 10:11); and on being challenged for his conduct, he had made a pointed and successful vindication. It is not implied by this language that there were two gospels, or even two distinct types of one gospel. But circumcision formed the point of difference. The Jew might practise it, for it was a national rite; but it was not to be enforced on the Gentile. The first Epistle of Peter shows the accordance of his theology with that of Paul. In Peter there are Jewish imagery and allusions, but no Judaistic spirit. The relation of the old economy to Gentile converts is not once glanced at. He does not refer to its overthrow, for to him the old Israel had passed into the spiritual Israel which had burst the national barriers. He does not write of Judaism and Christianity as rival faiths, or of the one supplanting the other; but to him Judaism had reached a predicted spirituality and fulness of blessing in the Messiah, by “the sprinkling of the blood of Him” who was the “Lamb without spot.” So that, as Tertullian tersely puts it, this arrangement was only distributio officii, not separatio evangelii, nec ut aliud alter sed ut aliis alter praedicarent. De Praescript. Haeret. xxiii. vol. ii. p. 22, ed. OEhler.
Galatians 2:8. This parenthetical verse gives the ground of the preceding statement. The same God who wrought effectually for Peter wrought effectually for Paul too; therefore the mission of Paul, divine in its source and sustentation, could not but be recognised.
῾Ο γὰρ ἐνεργήσας Πέτρῳ εἰς ἀποστολὴν τῆς περιτομῆς , ἐνήργησε καὶ ἐμοὶ εἰς τὰ ἔθνη “For He who wrought for Peter toward the apostleship of the circumcision, the same wrought for me also towards the Gentiles.” This he adds, Jerome says, ne quis eum putaret detrahere Petro. The datives Πέτρῳ and μοι , as Meyer observes, are not governed by ἐν in the verb which is not a pure compound, as ἐν could not stand independently. They are therefore dativi commodi. The purpose of the divine inworking is expressed fully in the first portion, εἰς ἀποστολήν “with a view to the apostleship,” for its successful discharge; at least such is the sense implied, 2 Corinthians 2:12, Colossians 1:29. The last clause, fully expressed, as in the Syriac version, would have been εἰς ἀποστολὴν τῶν ἐθνῶν ; but the curter form is used by the apostle ( comparatio compendiaria). Winer, § 66, f. The inworker is God, and that inworking comprehends every element of commission and qualification-outpouring of the Spirit, working of miracles, and all the various endowments and adaptations which fitted both men so fully for their respective spheres. Acts 15:12.
Galatians 2:9. Καὶ γνόντες τὴν χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι “And coming to the knowledge of the grace which was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who are reputed pillars, gave to me and Barnabas right hands of fellowship; that we should go or preach to the Gentiles, but they to the circumcision.” First, ἰδόντες , perceiving,-that is, probably struck by Paul's representation of his work as the apostle of the Gentiles,-a phrase parallel to καὶ γνόντες , “and learning,” from the details communicated to them. The χάρις here is not barely the apostolic office (Piscator, Estius), nor yet the success of his labours- potissimum de successu (Winer, Fritzsche),-but all that divine gift embodied as well in the apostolate as in all the freely bestowed qualifications for the successful discharge of its duties. See under Ephesians 3:8. They came to a knowledge of the divine gift enjoyed by Paul, implying that they had not distinctly understood it before. If they added nothing to Paul, he certainly added something to them. Romans 1:5; Romans 12:3.
᾿Ιάκωβος καὶ Κηφᾶς καὶ ᾿Ιωάννης “James and Cephas and John.” The order of the names differs. A omits καὶ Κηφᾶς ; D, F, G, and the Itala read Πέτρος καὶ ᾿Ιάκωβος , followed by few supporters; while the reading as we have given it is found in B, C, K, L, א , and versions and fathers. The placing of Κηφᾶς first is a natural correction from the mention of Peter in the previous verse; but James is first, from his immediate official status, and he must have had great influence at the consultation. So much did he become the central figure, that Irenaeus characterizes the other apostles as hi autem qui circa Jacobum apostoli. Advers. Haeres. 3.12, vol. i. p. 494, ed. Stieren. See Essay at the end of previous chapter. There is no good reason for supposing that the James of this verse is other than the Lord's brother, Galatians 1:19, who according to all tradition was head of the church in Jerusalem. Stier, Wieseler, and Davidson, however, take the James of this verse for the Apostle James, son of Alphaeus. But is it not likely that some clause or epithet would have been given to the James of the second chapter, if he were different from the James of the first? or how were his readers to be guided to make the necessary distinction? See p. 98. The two participles have these proper names as substantives. Of them the apostle adds-
Οἱ δοκοῦντες στύλοι εἶναι “who have the reputation of being pillars,”-not, as in Authorized Version, “who seemed to be,” either in tense or signification. The Genevan has, “which are taken to be pyllers.” There is no pleonasm in δοκοῦντες . Mark 10:42; Luke 22:24; Josephus, Antiq. 19.6, 3; Winer, §§ 65-7. The figure in the term στύλοι is a common and natural one. It represents the Hebrew עַ¶מּוּד in Exodus 13:21-22; Exodus 14:24, referring to the pillar of fire, and it occurs often in a literal sense in the description of the tabernacle. Its tropical use may be seen in the New Testament, 1 Timothy 3:15, Revelation 3:12. It is employed often by rabbinical writers as an epithet of great teachers and saints. See Schoettgen, 1.728, 9; compare Proverbs 9:1. It occurs in a personal sense in the Epistle of the Church at Lyons- στύλους ἑδραίους , Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiastes 5:1; in the first Epistle of Clement, Galatians 1:5, Peter and Paul are οἱ μέγιστοι καὶ δικαιότατοι στύλοι εδιώχθησαν . See Hom. Clement. 18.14, ἑπτὰ στύλους κόσμῳ . Many examples from the Greek and Latin fathers will be found in Suicer, Thes. sub voce. The figure is found also in the classics: στῦλοι γὰρ οἴκων εἰσὶ παῖδες ἄρσενες , Euripides, Iph. Aul. 57; ὑψηλῆς στέγης στῦλον ποδήρη , AEschylus, Agam. 897; also, stantem columnam, Horace, Od. 1.35. The accent of στυλος is doubtful, though probably evidence preponderates for στῦλος -perhaps the old AEolic form: Lipsius, p. 43, Leipzig 1863. Ellicott and Tischendorf print it στῦλοι , and the υ is invariably long in poetry, though it is short in the Latin stylus. Rost und Palm, sub voce. These three men were esteemed as “pillars,” and deservedly so, as they supported and graced the Christian edifice-which is not necessarily imaged here as a temple,-zealous, gifted, mighty, and successful labourers, able to look beyond the narrow and national boundary within which some would confine the gospel, and qualified to guide the church in any crisis with enlightened and generous advice; for they solemnly and formally recognised Paul on this occasion.
Δεξιὰς ἔδωκαν ἐμοὶ καὶ Βαρνάβᾳ κοινωνίας “gave to me and Barnabas right hands of fellowship.” The first noun is far removed from the genitive which it governs. Such a separation when the genitive follows sometimes happens from the sudden intervention of some emphatic or explanatory phrase. John 12:11; Rom 9:21 ; 1 Corinthians 8:7; Philippians 2:10; 1Th 2:13 ; 1 Timothy 3:6; Winer, 30, 3, note 2. One may say in this case that δεξιὰς ἔδωκαν stand first, referring to the visible hearty pledge of recognition; and that ἐμοὶ καὶ Βαρνάβᾳ follow, from their close relation to ἔδωκαν and κοινωνίας , which are put in immediate connection with the explanation. Both nouns are anarthrous. The first noun with this verb is often used without the article, the second wants it by correlation. Middleton, pp. 36, 49, ed. Rose; Apollonius, de Synt. p. 90; 1Ma 11:50 ; 1Ma 11:62 ; 1Ma 13:50 . Compare, however, Gersdorf's Beiträge, pp. 314-334. For κοινωνία , see under Philippians 1:5. The giving of the right hand was a common pledge of friendship or covenant then as now. While the Hebrew נָתָן יָד means “to surrender,” as in 2 Chronicles 30:8, Lamentations 5:6, it denotes also to pledge, 2 Kings 10:15, Ezra 10:19. Compare Ezekiel 17:18, Proverbs 11:21, Leviticus 6:2; Diodor. Sic.16, 43; Xen. Anab. 2.3, 11; Aristoph. Nub. 81; Euripides, Medea, 91, and Porson's note. This giving of right hands was the pledge of fellowship, the recognition of Paul and Barnabas as fellow-labourers. Chrysostom exclaims, ]Ω συνέσεως ὑπερβολὴ καὶ συμφωνίας ἀπόδειξις ἀναντίῤῥητος . “It was no such parting as when Luther in the castle of Marburg refused the hand of Zuingle, or when James Andreae refused that of Theodore Beza at Montbeliard” (Thiersch). The purpose was-
῞Ινα ἡμεῖς εἰς τὰ ἔθνη “in order that we unto the heathen.” The particle μέν is found after ἡμεῖς in A, C, D, א , many cursives, and several of the fathers; but the simple pronoun is read in B, F, H, K, L, א 1 , Vulgate and Clarom. and Gothic version, in Origen, Theophylact, OEcumenius, and in most of the Latin fathers. Griesbach marks it as probable, Tischendorf omits it, Lachmann and Meyer accept it; but Wieseler, Ellicott, Alford, and Lightfoot rightly reject it. It seems to have been inserted to produce a correspondence with the following δέ . The clause wants a verb, and is all the more emphatic, as if no verb of sufficient fulness and distinction had presented itself readily or at the moment to his mind. The words “we to the Gentiles” say all that is needful. His readers could easily divine what the phrase implied. Compare Romans 4:16, 1 Corinthians 1:31, 2 Corinthians 8:13,- ἵνα being similarly placed in all these quotations.
Αὐτοὶ δὲ εἰς τὴν περιτομήν “and they unto the circumcision,”-the abstract used as in Galatians 2:7 for the concrete. Are not the Jews so named here on purpose, as if the reference were not only to the covenant rite, but also to what had been the theme of dissension at Antioch and the subject of present consultation in Jerusalem? while ἔθνη is used in its broad sense, of all the nations beyond Palestine, as nations in want of a free and unclogged offer of the gospel. Some would supply εὐαγγελιζώμεθα - ωνται , as Winer and others; but εἰς with a personal reference is not used by Paul after this verb. Yet we have a very similar connection in 2 Corinthians 10:16, and this preposition follows the corresponding noun, 1 Thessalonians 2:9; see 1 Peter 1:25. Meyer in his last edition drops his objection to εὐαγγελ . as the supplement, which he had stated in his third edition. Others propose πορευθῶμεν - θῶσιν , as Bengel and Fritzsche; but the apostle's idea implies both these verbs; Erasmus and Schott fill in by apostolatu fungeremur. Though this agreement referred generally to spheres of labours, it cannot strictly be called a geographical division; nor was it a minute mapping out of future travels. Thousands of Jews were in “the dispersion,” among whom the three apostles might labour; and Paul, “as his custom was,” went first to the Jews: Acts 17:2; Acts 17:10; Acts 18:5; Acts 19:8. He speaks in his imprisonment of some of his companions “who are of the circumcision,” Colossians 4:11; and Peter and John travelled into heathen countries. Peter is found in Paul's way at Antioch; but Paul “would not build on another man's foundation” “would not boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.”
Galatians 2:10. Μόνον τῶν πτωχῶν ἵνα μνημονεύωμεν , ὃ καὶ ἐσπούδασα αὐτὸ τοῦτο ποιῆσαι “Only they asked us that we should remember the poor, which very thing I also was forward to do.” The adverb belongs to the previous clause beginning with ἵνα . There is no formal ellipse, and no verb like αἰτοῦντες or προσκαλοῦντες needs to be supplied (Borger, Winer, Rückert, Usteri): Gal 6:12 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:7. The clause is scarcely a limitation of the compact, but is rather an understanding, so slight as not to contradict what the apostle has just said “they communicated nothing to me.” They gave us the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles; only we were to remember the poor of the circumcision. Romans 15:26-27; 1 Corinthians 16:3. The order of the words is peculiar, and μόνον ἵνα τῶν πτωχῶν in D, F, etc., is an evident emendation. The position of τῶν πτωχῶν is emphatic, John 13:29, 2 Thessalonians 2:7; and this irregular position occurs in a different form in the previous verse. Winer, § 61, 3. For a similar position of ἵνα , see 1 Corinthians 7:29, 2 Corinthians 2:4. The emphasis is thus on “the poor,”-the understanding being that Paul and Barnabas were to remember them. The subjective verb μνημονεύω governs here the genitive, though occasionally it is followed by the accusative, indicating a different aspect of idea. Matthiae, § 347; Winer, § 30, 10, c. Many believers in Judaea were poor, and the victims of persecution. It would be wrong to limit the poor to the city of Jerusalem (Piscator and Estius). In the contract that they should go to the Gentiles to make them the special field of labour, they were, however, to take with them this understanding, that they were to remember the Jewish poor believers. To “remember the poor” is a quiet Christian way of expressing generous pecuniary benefaction,-not the idle and cheap well-wishing reprobated by the Apostle James. The apostle now adds this brief explanation for himself; for he and Barnabas soon after parted:
῝Ο καὶ ἐσπούδασα αὐτὸ τοῦτο ποιῆσαι “which very thing I was also forward to do.” The repetition of αὐτὸ τοῦτο after the relative is no direct imitation of a well-known Hebraism. Nordheimer, Heb. Gram. §§ 897, 898. In such cases αὐτός is the pronoun most commonly employed in the Septuagint. Thiersch, De Pentat. Alex. p. 123, has noted some examples in the Seventy, as Genesis 24:37; Genesis 28:13; Genesis 48:15; Exodus 30:6; Numbers 13:20: and also in the New Testament, as Revelation 7:2; Revelation 12:14. Ellicott adds Mark 1:7; Mark 7:25. The idiom before us is thus no Hebraism (Rückert, Baumgarten-Crusius); nor are αὐτὸ τοῦτο redundant, as Piscator and many of the older interpreters affirm. The idiom is well known. Kühner, ii. p. 527; Winer, § 21, 3, 2, § 22, 4; Stallbaum, Plato, Gorgias, p. 285 (509 E.); Sophocles, Philoctet. 315, and there Hermann's note in reply to Porson's conjecture in his Adversaria, p. 199. See under Philippians 1:6. The emphasis is on the verb-the apostle was forward to do it, and needed not any such recommendation. The past tense of the verb needs not have either a perfect (Conybeare) or a pluperfect signification, as denoting time past with reference to the conference, that is, before it (Jatho, Webster and Wilkinson); but it signifies, that at that past period now referred to, he was forward to remember the poor “also,” καί -as forward to do it as they were to stipulate for it. Probably the Galatians did not need to be told this, for he informs the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 16:1, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.” Compare Romans 15:26, where Macedonia and Achaia are said to make a collection εἰς τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῶν ἁγίων τῶν ἐν ῾Ιερουσαλήμ , and the argument which follows in Romans 15:27. Such benevolence shows the unity of the church amidst this apparent diversity of procedure. The special spiritual obligations under which the Gentiles lay to the Jews, were partially and cheerfully fulfilled in those temporal charities which the Jews did not hesitate to receive from their Gentile brethren. But the sending of this money was no tribute, no token of their dependence on the mother church (Olshausen): Acts 21:17; Acts 24:17, and Acts 11:29 at an earlier period; 2 Corinthians 8:9. To take ὅ for δἰ ὅ , a conjecture hazarded by Schott, is vague and inadmissible here, though it may occur in poetry. Allied to this is another meaning, eben deshalb, “for that very reason:” 2 Peter 1:5; Xen. Anab. 1, 9, 21; Plato, Protag. 310 E; Winer, § 21, 3, 2; Matthiae, § 470. Such a mode of construction is here quite unnecessary. Nor can the reference be that which Usteri quotes from his friend Studer, “even this,” that is, “nothing more did the apostles communicate;” nor can it be “which also, that same, trifling and inconsiderable as it was” (Gwynne). It simply refers to the fact that the very thing stipulated was the very thing the apostle was forward to do, and independently altogether of the stipulation. It is needless to ascribe the poverty of the believers in Jerusalem to any such remote cause as the free table established after Pentecost, and which was furnished by a kind of voluntary communism; for we know not how long the experiment lasted, or to what extent it was supported. Nor need we think of any abuse of the doctrine of the second advent as being near at hand (Jowett),-an error in the Thessalonian church which apparently unhinged its social relations. We have but to remember “the spoiling of your goods” in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and what the apostle says to the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.”
The three apostles here referred to, whatever their prepossessions, yield to the force of Paul's statements. Peter also at the council called the imposition of the law on Gentile converts an intolerable yoke, for the Gentile was saved by the same grace as the Jew. Peter appealed only to the great facts which had met him unexpectedly in his own experience; but James, in the old theocratic spirit, connected the outburst of Christianity with ancient prophecy as its fulfilment. In his thought, God takes out of the Gentiles a people for His name, and by an election as real as when He separated Israel of old from all the nations. The prophecy quoted by him describes the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David, not by restoring his throne in Jerusalem over Jews, and over heathen who as a test of their loyalty become proselytes, but by the reconstitution of the theocracy in a more spiritual form, and over myriads of new subjects “all the Gentiles”-without a hint of their conformity to any element of the Mosaic ritual. This expansion of the old economy had been foreseen; it was no outgrowth unexpected or unprovided for. Believers were not to be surprised at it, or to grudge that their national supremacy should disappear amidst the Gentile crowds, who in doing homage to David's Son, their Messiah, should raise “the tabernacle of David” to a grandeur which it had never attained, and could never attain so long as it was confined to the territory of Judaea. The Jewish mind must have been impressed by this reasoning-this application of their own oracles to the present crisis. So far from being perplexed by it, they ought to have been prepared for it; so far from being repelled by it, they ought to have anticipated it, prayed for it, and welcomed its faintest foregleams, as in the preaching of Philip in Samaria, and of Peter to Cornelius. Paul and Barnabas, in addressing the multitude “the church, the apostles and elders”-did not launch into a discussion of the general question, or attempt to demonstrate abstract principles. First, in passing through Phenice and Samaria, they “declared the conversion of the Gentiles;” and secondly, at the convention theirs was a simple tale which they allowed to work its own impression-they “declared what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.” The logic of their facts was irresistible, for they could not be gainsaid. Let their audience account for it as they chose, and endeavour to square it with their own opinions and beliefs as best they might, God was working numerous and undeniable conversions among the Gentiles as visibly and gloriously as among themselves.
The haughty exclusiveness of the later Judaism made it impossible for the church to extend without some rupture and misunderstanding of this nature. That exclusiveness was nursed by many associations. For them and them alone was the temple built, the hierarchy consecrated, and the victim slain. Their history had enshrined the legislation of Moses, the priesthood of Aaron, the throne of David, and the glory of Solomon. The manna had been rained upon their fathers, and the bright Presence had led them. Waters had been divided and enemies subdued. Sinai had been lighted up, and had trembled under the majesty and voice of Jehovah. Their land was hallowed by the only church of God on earth, and each of them was a member of it by birth. His one temple was on Mount Moriah, and they gloried in the pride of being its sole possessors. The archives of their nation were at the same time the records of their faith. Nothing was so opposed to their daily prepossessions as the idea of a universal religion. Or if the boundaries of the covenanted territory were to be widened, Zion was still to be the centre. Foreign peoples were to have no separate and independent worship; all nations were to flow to the “mountain of the Lord's house, established in the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills.” It is impossible for us to realize the intensity of Jewish feeling on these points, as it was ever influencing Hebrew believers to relapse into their former creed, and leading others into the self-deceptive and pernicious middle course of Judaizers. In such circumstances, the work of the Apostle Paul naturally excited uneasiness and suspicion in the best of them, for it was so unlike their own sphere of service. But the elder apostles were at this period brought to acquiesce in it, and they virtually sanctioned it, though there might not be entire appreciation of it in all its extent and certain consequences.
There is no ground, therefore, for supposing that there was any hostility between Paul and these elder apostles, or any decided theological difference, as many strenuously contend for. They all held the same cardinal truths, as is manifest from the Gospel and Epistles of John, and from the Epistles of Peter. There are varying types of thought arising from mental peculiarity and spiritual temperament,-accidental differences showing more strongly the close inner unity. Nor is the Epistle of James in conflict with the Pauline theology. It was in all probability written before these Judaistic disputes arose; for, though addressed to Jews, it makes no mention of them. Its object among other things was to prove that a justifying faith must be in its nature a sanctifying faith; that a dead faith is no faith, and is without all power to save; and that from this point of view a man is justified by works-the products of faith being identified with itself, their one living source.
Nor can we say that there were, even after the convention, no misunderstandings between Paul and the other apostles. While they were at one with him in thought, they seem not to have had the same freedom to act out their convictions. There was no opposition on any points of vital doctrine; but though they held that his success justified him, they did not feel at liberty, or had not sufficient intrepidity, to follow his example. Though their earlier exclusiveness was broken, their nationality still remained,-their conservatism had become an instinct “they to the circumcision.” This mere separation of sphere might not give rise to division, but these pharisaic Judaists, who were not so enlightened and considerate as their leaders, were the forefathers of that Ebionitism which grew and fought so soon after that period, having its extreme antagonism in Marcion and his adherents. How the other apostles who had left Jerusalem at the Herodian persecution, and may have been in different parts of the world, acted as to these debated matters, we know not. It is storied, indeed, that John, living amidst the Hellenic population of Ephesus, kept the paschal feast on the fourteenth day of the month, in accordance with the Jewish reckoning; and that he wore in his older years one special badge of a priest. Such is the report of Polycrates; but no great credit is to be attached to it, for it may be only a literal misapplication to the “Divine” of the sacerdotal imagery of his own Apocalypse. But the stand made by Paul subjected him to no little obloquy and persecution from Jews and Judaists. His apostleship was depreciated as secondary, and his doctrine impugned as not according to truth. His perils were not sympathized with; nay, some during his imprisonment preached Christ “of envy and strife,” intending thereby to “add affliction to his bonds.” The mournful admission is wrung from him during his last hours, “All they which are in Asia be turned away from me.” For his bold and continuous assertion of Gentile freedom he was frowned upon during his life, and no doubt censured as pragmatic, vehement, and unreasonable in the advocacy of his latitudinarian views; and after his death, he was for the same reason caricatured in the Clementines under the name of Simon Magus, the malignant and worsted antagonist of the apostle of the circumcision. And yet Paul was the truest Jew of them all,-true in spirit and in act to the Abrahamic promise which contained in it a blessing for. “all families of the earth”-to the divine pledge, “I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance”-and to the oracular utterance, “I will give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” Truer by far was he to the old covenant, and those numerous fore-showings of a better and broader dispensation, than they “which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that rose about Stephen, and who travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none, but unto the Jews only,” and than those who, by insisting on the circumcision of Gentile converts, were barring the way while they professed to open it, and clogging the gift in their mode of presenting it with conditions which robbed it of its value by hampering its freeness.
The power of early association, which grows with one's growth, is very difficult to subdue; for it may suddenly reassert its supremacy at some unguarded moment, and expose inherent weakness and indecision. He who, on being instructed by a vision, had preached to Cornelius and admitted him by baptism into the church, and who, when “they of the circumcision contended with him,” had nobly vindicated his procedure, and rested his concluding argument on the remembered words of the Master,-who had spoken so boldly in the synod, and joined in the apostolic circular,-sunk at Antioch so far beneath himself and these former experiences, that Paul was obliged to withstand him to the face.
Galatians 2:11. ῞Οτε δὲ ἦλθεν Κηφᾶς εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν “But when Cephas came to Antioch.” Κηφᾶς is found in A, B, C, H, א , in the Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic versions; but Πέτρος has in its favour D, F, K, L, and the Greek fathers. The Hebrew name was more likely, however, to be altered than the usual Greek one. By δέ he passes to another and different argument. Paul and Barnabas went down after the council, and Peter seems to have followed them, though his visit is not recorded in Acts. Augustine, Hug, and Schneckenburger refer the visit to an earlier epoch, yet the apostle appears to follow the order of time; while Neander, Sardinoux, Baumgarten, Lange, and Wieseler of course, assign it to a later year. But Barnabas had separated from Paul before the time alluded to in Acts 18:22, and they were together in Jerusalem at the period of the council. There is no authority for saying either, with Schrader, that Peter had accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Jerusalem, or with Thiersch, that it was his first visit to the metropolis of Gentile Christianity.
Κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην , ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν “I withstood him to the face, because he had been condemned.” The Syriac reads מֶטֻלדמתלָקלִין , “because they were stumbled by him.” The last clause sets out the reason of the conflict, and then it is historically stated. The verb καταγιγνώσκω , generally followed by the genitive of the person and accusative of the thing, means to know or note something against one, next to lay this to his charge, and then naturally to condemn him-accusation followed by the passing of sentence. The perfect participle passive with ἦν has its natural meaning, “because he had been condemned,”-not simply accused, but condemned. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:5, Hebrews 5:14; Hebrews 10:22. The Vulgate reads doubly wrong, in sense and in syntax, quia reprehensibilis erat; and so Calvin, reprehensione dignus. And this rendering is followed by many, as Beza, a-Lapide, Küttner, Borger, Matthies, Brown, and the English Version. Others, as Winer, Schott, De Wette after Luther, and Jowett, take the milder meaning, which is, however, grammatically correct, quia reprehensus erat “because he was blamed.” But the phrase “I withstood to the face” necessitates the full signification of the participle. The instances commonly adduced in behalf of the adjectival meaning will not bear it out. It is true that in Hebrew, from its want of verbal adjectives, the passive participle may occasionally bear the sense of one ending in bilis, or a participle ending in ndus. Gesenius, Lehrgeb. § 213; Nordheimer, § 1034, 3, b. The idiom is based on the notion that what is praised is praisable, that what is loved is lovable or deserves to be loved. Thus one passes easily from the idea of incorrupt to that of incorruptible, from that of seen to that of visible, from that of touched to that of touchable or palpable. But it is difficult to say in regard to the Hebrew idiom when and how far the one notion is expanded into the other, and there is no reason why this usage should be transferred into Greek. The common proofs taken from the classics- τετελεσμένος , Iliad, 1.388, and Lucian, de Saltatione, p. 173 (vol. v. ed. Bipont.), where the same word occurs as in the passage before us-will not bear it out, and those quoted from the New Testament are also defective. For the aorist participle ἐκριζωθέντα in Jude 1:12 has its regular meaning, “rooted out;” the perfect participle ἐβδελυγμένοις in Revelation 21:8 is not “abominable,” but “covered with pollutions,” or abominated; and the present participle in Hebrews 12:18, ψηλαφωμένῳ , has its literal meaning of being touched. See Alford, Delitzsch, and Bleek, in loc.; Winer, § 45, 1. So that the strong term used by the apostle leads us to infer that the condemnation was not simply self-condemnation or conscious inconsistency (Bengel, Bagge, Windischmann, Hofmann), but condemnation pronounced in no measured terms by those who were aggrieved by Peter's hypocritical conduct. Tergiversation on the part of such a man could not but produce deep and wide sensation in such a church as Antioch; and the outraged feelings of the Gentile portion of it so suddenly shunned, and to all appearance so decidedly disparaged, must have condemned the apostle. They had but to compare himself, not with his former self, as he had championed them twice over in Jerusalem, but with his recent self on his arrival in their city. The hollowness of his withdrawal from them carried with it at the same time its own condemnation.
Peter therefore being signalized as a condemned man, Paul was obliged to interfere on behalf of honesty, consistency, and spiritual freedom-
Κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην “to the face I withstood him”-not simply coram omnibus (Erasmus, Beza, Matthias, and Conybeare), for the preposition retains its sub-local meaning, as may be inferred also from the attitude described in the verb ἀντέστην . Acts 3:13; Acts 25:16. Comp. 2Co 10:1 ; 2 Corinthians 10:7; Sept. Deuteronomy 7:24; Deuteronomy 9:2; 2 Chronicles 13:7-8; κατὰ πρόσωπον τάξας , Polyb. 3.65, 6; similarly 11.14, 6. This meaning is not very distinctly brought out in Winer, § 49. The antagonistic sense of the verb may be seen in Ephesians 6:13, 2 Timothy 3:8. These two words- πρόσωπον , ἀντέστην -have the emphatic position as an index to the fidelity of the argument. Private remonstrance, written correspondence, appeals against Peter or crimination of him in his absence, would not have proved Paul's conscious equality of status so truly as a face-to-face rebuke, and that publicly, of the apostle of the circumcision. The iniquitous gloss κατὰ σχῆμα “in appearance only”-as if the whole scene had been got up between the apostles, is as little to be thought of as the assertion that this condemned Peter was not the well-known apostle, but another individual of the same name. See the history of that controversy at the end of this chapter.
Note on Chap. Galatians 2:11 .
Κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην “I withstood him to the face, because he had been condemned.”
THIS scene at Antioch-Peter's dissimulation and Paul's rebuke-was soon laid hold of by infidel opponents to damage the truth of Christianity. Jerome in the preface to his Commentary on Galatians refers to Porphyry, who took such an advantage of the altercation, and under Galatians 2:11 he puts this alternative: ad extremum, si propter Porphyrii blasphemiam, alius nobis fingendus est Cephas. Opposing parties also in these early times made the most of the occurrence. The Ebionites through it attacked Paul, as in the Clementines, in which Peter assaults the apostle of the Gentiles under the name of Simon Magus. We need not say a word about the date of the Clementines-Homilies and Recognitions. Nor need we discuss the critical opinions of Schliemann, Hilgenfeld, Uhlhorn, and Ritschl as to their relations and origin; nor the elaborate efforts of Neander, Credner, Baur, and Schwegler to evolve their doctrinal system. Suffice it for our present purpose to say, that in the letter of Peter prefixed to the Homilies he says, “Some of those among the Gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching- νόμιμον κήρυγμα , having embraced the lawless and foolish teaching of the enemy,” “hostile man”- τοῦ ἐχθροῦ ἀνθρώπου . “Some have tried by diverse interpretations to shape my words into an abolition of the law- εἰς τὴν τοῦ νόμου κατάλυσιν , as if this were my sentiment, and I did not dare openly to preach it;”-with more to the same purpose, in evident allusion to the ὑπόκρισις charged upon him at Antioch. Homiliae, Philippians 4:5, ed. Dressel. In Homily 17:19 (p. 351, do.) Peter then refers in sneering depreciation to the visions and revelations which Paul enjoyed, and places his own honours and privileges in very favourable comparison-the personal instructions of the Divine Teacher for a year being put into contrast with instructions for but an hour, adding: “For me, being a firm rock, the foundation of the church, as an adversary thou hast withstood; if thou hadst not been an enemy, thou wouldest not have reviled me and calumniated my preaching, that I might not be believed when I declared what I had heard from the Lord myself in His presence-as if I were condemned, and not to be approved; or if thou calledst me condemned, thou accusest God who revealed Christ to me.” The reference is plainly to this section of Galatians. The phrases ἐναντίος ἀνθέστηκάς μοι - ἐμοῦ καταγνωσθέντος - ἤ εἰ κατεγνωσμένον με λέγεις , are borrowed from it. That Simon represents the Apostle Paul is now generally agreed. Many proofs may be found in Schliemann's Clementinen, p. 96, and in Zeller, Die Apostelgeschichte, p. 158. This opinion is denied, but on insufficient grounds, by Ernest de Bunsen ( Hidden Wisdom, vol. ii. pp. 12-14), who, however, regards these documents as genuine, and “as based on originals dating from apostolic times.”
On the other hand, the conflict at Antioch afforded an opportune handle for Marcion to depreciate Peter, and to prove the direct opposition of the true gospel to Judaism. Irenaeus thus meets the objection: “This dispute about the law did not argue a different origin to it from the gospel.” Tertullian, occupied with the same objection, rebukes his opponents thus: credunt sine scripturis ut credant adversus scripturas; and his explanation is, that Peter's fault lay not in his preaching, but in his life- utique conversationis fuit vitium non praedicationis.
This Antiochene controversy was thus sadly misunderstood, and its meaning perverted for sceptical and polemical purposes. But it did not touch the truth of the gospel, nor militate against the inspiration of the apostles. For inspiration does not charge itself with the government of personal conduct, but is connected only with official labour done in Christ's name. Peter's momentary timidity, so like himself, and yet so unworthy of him, did not influence his preaching, since he acted against his own theory, and shrunk from his asserted freedom. Peter and Paul preached all the while the very same gospel, though at this startling crisis Peter did not act in harmony with it, but allowed earlier feelings to acquire for the time a second and cowardly predominance. To eat with one of another nation had been his first abhorrence; and though a vision helped him, nay, forced him, to surmount the antipathy, it had never wholly died out within him. Traditionary education and habit produce certain associations which may have a dormant co-existence with a better creed, but which in an unexpected hour and under strong temptation may reassert the mastery. To make a bold assertion, and then on a sudden to recoil from it, had been Peter's temperament. “Lord, bid me come to Thee on the water,” was in a few moments followed by “Lord, help me!”-the avowal, “Though all men forsake Thee, yet will not I,” “though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee,” was only a prelude to the denial a few hours afterwards, “I know not the man;” “Thou shalt never wash my feet,” was said one instant, but the next brought out the changed desire, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” His answer to those who “contended with him,” saying, “Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them,” had been, “God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean,” and his intrepid conclusion had been, “What was I that I could withstand God?” Nay, to those who insisted on the Gentiles being circumcised and keeping the law of Moses, his reply had been noble and unfearing: “God made choice among us that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel. Why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples?” And yet, after all this undaunted and unreserved vindication, he turns his back on himself, abjures his own protest, and in a fit of weakness bows his own neck to that very unbearable yoke. Paul's record of the scene shows how free and open the founders of the church were-without any collusion which a misunderstanding might break up, or any compact the fraudulent basis of which a sudden alienation might expose. The worst that could be said of Peter was, that overawed by the presence of “certain from James” and the mother church, he fell into a momentary vacillation; and that his courage and constancy sank for a time under a conservative influence, before which even Barnabas, first the patron and then the colleague of Paul, and filled with no small portion of his spirit, quailed and fell.
In this debated matter of Gentile freedom, while others stumbled or advanced with unsteady step-for theirs were but “broken lights”-Paul moved onwards without hesitation or pause, and by his single courage and consistency secured to the churches a liberty which, though it might be grudged or suspected in many quarters, could not be withdrawn, but has descended as an invaluable legacy to modern times. As he knew Peter's character, it must have cost him a pang to confront him whose name stands first in all the catalogues of the apostles; but the claims of truth were paramount. The unhappy entanglement of Barnabas in the controversy, and this rebuke, in which he must have shared, perhaps helped to exacerbate the misunderstanding or “contention” which soon afterwards severed the two fellow-labourers, when they “departed asunder the one from the other.” Who that knows anything of human nature will not sympathize with Peter in his sudden weakness, so characteristic of persons of his temperament, which, without a steady self-control and true all the while to the ultimate motive, so vibrates under proximate influences as to swerve for a season into devious courses? His dissimulation was an honest obedience to the impulse of the moment, and that impulse was the sudden awakening of early and deep impressions. What bitter regrets must have followed such aberrations! what prayers for a steadier walk and for an unbroken unity of will! what reluctance to forgive himself, even though he had the assurance of divine forgiveness! But it needed the greater nature of Paul to ward off the injuries which such tergiversation was so certain to produce. He was a stranger to that infirmity by which Peter had been overtaken. With an emotional nature as profound though not so variable as Peter's, his temperament was as decided as it was ardent, as lofty as it was inflexible. He saw truth on all sides of it, both in theory and result, in germ and in development; and obstacles unforeseen by others did not, as they started up, so surprise him as to make him question or re-examine his leading principles.
It is pitiable, therefore, to see what shifts have been resorted to in order to explain away a scene so life-like in the case of Peter, and so true to his character in that of Paul. And first it was hinted that this Cephas was not the Apostle Peter, but another bearing the name, and who was one of the seventy disciples. This opinion was started by the Alexandrian Clement. In the fifth book of his Hypotyposeis, as cited by Eusebius, when speaking of the Cephas whom Paul withstood to the face at Antioch, he says: ἕνα γεγονέναι τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα μαθητῶν , ὁμώνυμον Πέτρῳ τυγχάνοντα τῷ ἀποστόλῳ . Hist. Ecclesiastes 1-12, pp. 75, 76, vol. i. ed. Heinichen. Eusebius simply reports the opinion without controverting it; but his neutrality is construed by OEcumenius into positive agreement,-with the addition, καὶ πιθανὸς ὁ λόγος , the argument being the great moral improbability of its being that apostle who had seen the vision and baptized Cornelius, and who had already stood out so boldly on the subject- οὐ γὰρ ἦν ὁ εἰπὼν ταῦτα . Jerome repeats the same conjecture, though he does not hold it; adding, that its advocates argue that Luke makes no mention of the dissension, or ever places Peter and Paul together at Antioch- et locum dari Porphyrio blasphemanti; si autem Petrum errasse, aut Paulus procaciter apostolorum principem confutasse credatur. Chrysostom, in his homily on the clause, “I withstood him to the face,” refers to the same opinion, but asserts that it is refuted by the context- καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀνωτέρω καὶ ἐκ τῶν μετὰ ταῦτα . Opera, vol. iii. p. 446, Gaume, Paris 1837. Gregory the Great mentions it too, but denies it. Nay, this Cephas appears in the list of the seventy in the Paschal Chronicle: Κηφᾶς ὁμώνυμος Πέτρου ᾧ καὶ ἐμαχήσατο Παῦλος κατὰ ᾿Ιουδαϊσμοῦ ; and in the list ascribed to Dositheus, the martyred bishop of Tyre, the addition is made: Κηφᾶς ὃν ὁ ἀπόστολος Παῦλος ἐν ᾿Αντιοχείᾳ ἤλεγξεν , ὅς καὶ ἐπίσκοπος Κονίας ἐγένετο . Chron. Pasch. vol. i. p. 400, vol. ii. p. 126, ed. Dindorf, Bonn 1832. This wholly groundless opinion has not wanted favourers in more modern times, as may be seen in Vallarsi's editorial note on Jerome, which has also guided us to some of the previous references. Hardouin the Jesuit revived it, and its refutation in Deyling's Observ. Sac. (cap. xlv. vol. ii. p. 520) degenerates ultimately into an antipapal polemic. See also Calmet, Dissert. tom. iii. p. 519, Paris 1720. This absurd opinion originated in a fear that the great apostle of the circumcision might be disparaged; but it is rightly and honestly repudiated by many exegets and controversialists who owe allegiance to the chair of St. Peter.
To gain a similar end, another method was adopted; and it was held that the dispute was only a feigned one, the apostles being quite agreed in opinion, and that the scene was got up in order that Peter might submit to a rebuke, as a lesson to the Judaizers who were censured and condemned in him. Jerome asserts that Origen first propounded this extraordinary notion. Jerome himself adopted it, and it was advocated by Chrysostom, first in his Commentary on Galatians, and also in a separate treatise referred to in the footnote. The Latin father, who, according to Luther, “neither understood this place, nor the whole epistle besides,” in various ways justifies this acting of a lie, quasi in publico contradicens. The apostles must have been at one, he argues; for Paul was just as much committed as Peter by “shaving his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow,” by his carrying offerings to Jerusalem, and by his circumcision of Timothy, so that, ejusdem simulationis tenebitur reus. Then he asks in triumph, “How, then, could Paul resist and rebuke with a good grace, when himself was guilty of similar inconsistencies?” This tu quoque reply is heartily and admiringly endorsed by Stap in his Etudes, an attempt to popularize the criticism of the Tübingen school for French readers. But the proofs adduced do not come at all under the same category of personal inconsistency or hypocrisy. Jerome then refers for an instance of utilis simulatio to the treachery of Jehu, without which the priests of Baal could not have been assembled to be all massacred. “Call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests: let none be wanting; for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal,” were also the words of Elijah. But the adduction of such a case is truly as melancholy as his next is ridiculous, which is David's feigning of madness for his personal safety at Gath. Another of his proofs is based on the publicity of the rebuke; for such publicity, if the censure were genuine, would, in his opinion, be a direct violation of the Master's precept, “Tell him his fault between thee and him alone.” But the inconsistency of Peter was no private offence; it scandalized the entire Gentile portion of the church. His next reference to the practices of pleaders in the Roman forum is pithily put, but is still farther from the point, and needs not be replied to. Chrysostom, in the midst of his rhetoric, is as precise as Jerome. In his commentary his deliverance is, “Peter's conduct, as Paul well knew, was dictated by two secret motives: to avoid offending the Jews, and to give Paul a good opportunity for animadverting. . . . Now that the one refutes, and the other submits, the Jewish faction is seized with great fear.” His explanation of the clause κατὰ πρόσωπον ἀντέστην is σχῆμα ἦν , it was a feint, or merely in outer appearance; for if they had been in earnest, they would not in public have censured each other. Peter's inconsistency was only a sham- ὡς ἁμαρτάνων -that the Judaizers through him might be rebuked. The plot was this: “If Paul had reproved these Jews, they would have been indignant and contemptuous, for they held him in small honour; but when they saw their teacher under rebuke and yet silent, they could not despise nor gainsay what was spoken.” Chrysostom is eloquent on the impossibility of one who had spoken and acted as Peter had, falling into the alleged inconsistency. In his homily on the subject his motive is apparent, for he espoused the theory on account of the bad use that was made of the incident- παρὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν καὶ τῶν τῆς πίστεως ἀλλοτρίων . “Would not one,” he adds, “be struck with terror if he heard that the pillars of the church had come into collision? The great wisdom and benevolence of the two apostles would have prevented them from coming into actual strife. Could Peter be a coward- δείλος καὶ ἄνανδρος -he to whom the name of Rock had been given; who had himself been the first to confess the Messiahship and boldly to preach it; whose ardent impulses outstripped all his fellows, and who had protested before the rulers, ‘We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard;’-could he who had been so bold at Jerusalem in the midst of enemies waver at Antioch- ἐν τῇ Χριστιανικωτάτῃ πόλει ?” Time, place, and circumstances alike forbid the thought. Besides, Paul, who was “as weak to the weak,” was too modest and loving, and must have had too much respect for Peter's prerogative, to have rebuked one, to make whose acquaintance he had not long before gone up to Jerusalem, and with whom he had sojourned fifteen days. This, and a vast deal more poured out in impassioned declamation and challenge, does not touch the matter. In the case of a man of Peter's temperament, it is dangerous to argue from only one side of his antecedents, leaving the other side in discreet abeyance, such as his boast and his subsequent denial of the Master. Similar things will be found in OEcumenius, and in Theophylact, who calls the dispute σχηματισθεῖσα μάχη . Theodoret's commentary is wanting at this part; but he elsewhere characterizes Peter's conduct as dissimulation- καὶ τῷ Πέτρῳ σχηματισαμένῳ τοῦ νόμου φυλακήν . Op. vol. ii. p. 536, ed. Sirmondi.
The interpretation of Jerome came at length into the hands of Augustine, and greatly shocked him,- non mediocriter doleo. Ep. 28, probably A.D. 394 or 395. He wrote at once to Jerome as the reputed author- quaedam scripta quae tua dicerentur; but he was not perfectly sure- si alius illa scripsit. He puts the case very plainly, not as one of lying on the part of good men, but whether it behoved the writers of sacred scripture to lie. The same allegation, he adds, may be made regarding other passages, such as those regarding marriage, 1 Timothy 4:3. The authority of Scripture is thus destroyed- nusquam certa erit in sanctis literis castae veritatis auctoritas. Augustine writes firmly, but in all modesty- nec me onerosum aut impudentem judices. This first letter does not touch the context, nor its bearing on the subject; it deals only with ethics, and not with criticism. In another letter ( Ep. 40) he refers to the same subject, and enters into it more fully in its various aspects, has a word on the value of Origen's authority, and urges Jerome to sing a palinode, “for the truth of Christendom is more incomparably beautiful than the Grecian Helen.” Augustine is in profound earnest, and yet quite without arrogance. Nequaquam vero mihi arrogaverim ut ingenium tuum divino dono aureum, meis obolis ditare contendam. The first letter, which had been entrusted to Profuturus, had been lost in the conveyance, but its contents had got into general circulation. Jerome's temper was none of the best, and this supposed slight was enough to exasperate him. He could not bear to be attacked by a younger rival ( Ep. 102). Through Sysinnius the deacon, he had got, he says, a copy of a letter purporting to be addressed to him- epistolae cujusdam quasi ad me scriptae,-in which Augustine urged him to recant and imitate Stesichorus. If the letter be genuine, he bids him aperte scribe, vel mitte exemplaria veriora. Augustine explained afterwards that the person entrusted with the letter had neither delivered it nor returned it. Jerome was therefore suspicious and irritated, because he had seen only an anonymous copy of a document, which, though addressed to himself, he had never received, while the attack upon him found in it had come to be generally known in Rome and over the churches. Augustine solemnly denied on oath that he had circulated any book against Jerome. Deum nostrum testor hoc me non fecisse ( Ep. 67.) It turned out, however, as Augustine admitted afterwards, that this denial was caused by the distinction which he made between liber and epistola. He had not written any liber against Jerome, nor had he sent that ill-fated epistola to the capital. But Jerome was not aware of this at the time, and consequently his indignation begins to glow at what he reckoned unhandsome treatment, and he warns his youthful tutor of the juvenile weakness of crowing over illustrious men, as if it were a way to fame. He reminds him that the writer (Jerome) had had his day; and lest Augustine should suppose that poetic allusion was specially his property, he hints in return for the reference to Stesichorus, that Entellus, aged though he was, might crush the younger Dares. In another communication ( Ep. 105) Jerome returns to the letter on the subject which had been circulated in Africa and in Italy; and he plainly suspects Augustine of using undue means for its publication, as it had never reached him, save in some anonymous form. Busy friends, too, had been at his elbow- familiares mei et vasa Christi, and they had insinuated doubts of Augustine's integrity of motive, and the hints officiously whispered in his ear lose nothing through his telling of them. The old and suspicious story of the letter, and Augustine's denial of its authorship, again turn up with the sharp innuendo: “Thou hast not written, and yet how are there brought to me reports of my being censured by you? If the book is not yours, deny its authorship; if yours, say so honestly, that I may write in my defence.” Augustine had quietly asked Jerome to correct anything wrong in his works; but Jerome tartly retorts, “that he had not given special attention to them, and had seen indeed but few of them, but that there were opinions in his book on the Psalms not consonant to the views of the old Greek interpreters.” The next letter of Augustine ( Ep. 73) is a long and pointed one. It takes up the allusion to Entellus and to his own works- fortasse dura sed certe salubria verba; reciprocates his protestations of love; declares that he wrote about the Galatian Comment. when he was a young man, and that now, though he was an old man, he had got no reply. Probably ten years had elapsed, so slow was correspondence in those days. The letter is occupied not with recriminations certainly, but it shows that the writer had been touched by some of Jerome's hard words: “If we cannot correct what may be wrong in one another's writings without suspicion of envy, or breach of friendship, let us give it up- quiescamus ab his et nostrae vitae salutique parcamus; ” and he ends with sentences of noblest Christian charity. So boldly challenged, Jerome replied at length ( Ep. 112), perhaps A.D. 404, to what he calls tres epistolas imo libellos breves. In the introduction and at the end he purposely omits all compliments, even those with which his opponents had tried to soften his censures. In defence of his Commentary on Galatians, he quotes a portion of the preface which enumerates the authorities which had been consulted by him-Origen, Didymus, the Laodicene (Apollinaris), Alexander (an ancient heretic), Eusebius of Emesa, and Theodore of Heraclea; and he challenges Augustine to produce one supporter of his view. The old arguments are then repeated: the various points of Peter's life; his sayings and doings which make the tergiversation ascribed to him so unlikely, for he was the first to advocate the freedom which he was now accused of having deserted; and then he sets upon Paul, to show him guilty of the very course for which he reprehended Peter.
The abuse which Porphyry had made of the scene is still the stumblingblock which Jerome could not surmount or thrust aside. Augustine had spoken in a previous letter of the comparative harmlessness of a Jew observing the Mosaic institutions of his country, that being a different thing from fixing their observance on the Gentiles; but with striking inconsistency, Jerome's blood boils at the thought, and he declares the opinion to be vilest error bordering on Ebionitism; and this thought is elaborated in various ways, and with increasing vehemence. The letter then passes into some biblical questions, among which the proper Latin translation of Jonah's “gourd” is a source of irritation; and it draws to a close with a request to be let alone, so as not to be provoked into further contest, and with an advice to Augustine-who, though young, was a bishop-to teach the people and enrich the Roman church with the fruits of his African genius; concluding with a sigh, perhaps of wounded pride- mihi sufficit cum auditore et lectore pauperculo in angulo monasterii susurrare. To this epistle Augustine sent a distinct and formal reply ( Ep. 82), in which he carefully reviews all the points of the argument; lays stress on Paul's declaration, “When I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel,”-a handle to the falsifying Manichaeans if it were not true; analyses the conduct and motives of Paul; shows that his becoming a Jew to the Jews was non mentientis astu, sed compatientis affectu; dwells on the relations of the law to believers; throws off all Jerome's authorities but three as being heretics; opposes to them the two fathers Ambrose and Cyprian; and asserts that if he had read much, he could easily have found a third ( ut tres tribus opponam). In default, however, of a third, he will summon the apostle himself, and ask him if, when he accused Peter, he had spoken dispensativa falsitate; and his reply is, what he had stated in a previous verse, “Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God I lie not.” The epistle concludes with warm expressions of attachment, and some undervaluing of Jerome's biblical labours. To this last letter Jerome does not seem to have replied. Augustine gives another and a very clear and succinct view of the subject in his De Mendacio. The reasoning of Augustine must have told upon Jerome; but there is no answer extant to Augustine's last epistle. Jerome's pride was hurt: the beginning of the correspondence had been so awkward and unfortunate, that it had given him an adverse bias; the allusion to Stesichorus evidently rankled in his mind, as it is often alluded to in his letters; he expected his opponent to pay greater deference to his age and standing, and had some suspicions of his motives; and he was ruffled by his calm and dignified arguments and expostulations, to which he answered in a style of vaunting vehemence. In attempting to vindicate Peter from a charge of inconsistency, and Paul from that of procacity, he really finds both of them guilty of a darker sin by far when he describes them as conspiring to act what Augustine calls officiosum mendacium. But it would seem that afterwards and on reflection Jerome was at length convinced of his error, and he appears to have adopted the view which Augustine had so warmly and conclusively pressed upon him. In his treatise or dialogue Contra Pelagianos, written after this correspondence, he gives the honest and straightforward view, and at the end of it he refers to his former opponent as vir sanctus et eloquens episcopus Augustinus. In his tract against Jovinian the same view is given as a passing reference; similarly in the midst of a few sharp words at the beginning of his tract against Ruffinus; and again in his Commentary on Philemon, Opera, vol. vii. p. 755. In these places there is only a simple allusion to the scene at Antioch, but such an allusion as would honestly seem to imply his conviction of the reality of the dispute, involving the error of Peter and the necessity of the rebuke. Only, he makes these references without a syllable indicative of his own past or present opinion. But the dates are uncertain, and some of those treatises may have been written during the correspondence; if so, Jerome did not hold his view tenaciously, though he could not but accept the challenge of an opponent and junior rival who was in no way abashed before his age, fame, and position. It was not in him to make a formal acknowledgment of defeat in such circumstances. Yet no matter how Porphyry reviled Christianity through its two apostles, he could say nothing of them so severe as Origen and Jerome had said of them, in asserting that they had conspired to act a hollow drama. A traditionary halo was already gathering round Peter, and the veracity of Paul must be sacrificed to save Peter's consistency, as if infallibility of conduct and the utter elimination of every human element of character were a necessary result of a divine commission. It was, however, quite like Peter and his antecedents to shrink in a moment from a perilous and bold step, and quite as like Paul to rebuke without a moment's hesitation such cowardice. The straightforward meaning of his words in his own account of the occurrence, must therefore be maintained. Honest interpretation must be listened to, no matter what traditionary dogma it upsets, or what unwelcome inferences may be suggested by it. Augustine's opinion prevailed in the western churches, even though it exposed a constitutional weakness in their great primate's character. In a word, Augustine believed that Jerome had changed his opinion, yet he does not take any credit for producing the change. But there is uncertainty still about Jerome's real or ultimate view, for in his Commentary on Isaiah 53:12 (perhaps A.D. 410) he says, those who regard the controversy between Peter and Paul as real ut blasphemanti Porphyrio satisfaciant, debent et auream in mille annis expectare Jerusalem. Zöckler's Hieronymus, sein Leben und Wirken, p. 275, Gotha 1865.
Some remarks on this controversy may be found in Thomas Aquinas, Summae Theologicae prima secundae, Quaest. 103, Art. 4, vol. ii. p. 849; et secunda secundae, Quaest. 43, Art. vi. vol. iii. p. 349. The first volume of Moehler's Gesammt. Schriften contains a paper on this subject, giving a fair critical estimate of the controversy. He says that Jerome put himself into the position of many whose zeal for truth and goodness is greater than their insight into what is true and good, and Augustine's last letter (82) he characterizes as crushing Jerome's argument mit der Gewalt eines überlegenen Geistes.
Chapter Galatians 2:11-21 .
The apostle pursues his vindication no further in the same strain. He has said that he received his commission and gospel immediately from the same source as did the other apostles; that he owed nothing to them; that he did not on his conversion rush up to Jerusalem and seek admission among them, or ask counsel or legitimation from them; that three years elapsed before he saw one of them, and him he saw only for a brief space; that fourteen years afterwards he went up again to the metropolis, when he met them, or rather three of the most famous of them, as their equal; that he did not and would not circumcise Titus; that the original apostles gave him no information and no new element of authority, nay, that they cordially recognised him, and that he and they came to an amicable understanding as to their respective departments of labour. Who then could challenge the validity of his apostleship, or impugn the gospel which he preached, after Peter, James, and John had acquiesced in them? Who would now venture to question their opinion? for they were satisfied,-even Peter, specially marked in contrast as having the gospel of the circumcision divinely committed to him. Nay more-and such is now the argument-he was not only officially recognised as a brother apostle by Peter, and as possessed of equal authority, but he had opposed and rebuked Peter on a solemn and public occasion, and in connection with one of the very points now in dispute. While Peter had resiled for a moment, he had never done so: his conduct in Jerusalem and in Antioch had been one and the same. He thus proves himself invested with the same high prerogative, measuring himself fully with Peter as his equal, nay, more than his equal.
Antioch, a large and magnificent city, had communication by the Orontes and its port of Seleucia with all the territories bordering on the Mediterranean, and it was connected by an overland route with Arabia and the countries on and beyond the Euphrates. Men of all nations easily found their way into it for business or pleasure; and into this capital named after his father, Seleucus had introduced a large colony of Jews who lived under their own ethnarch. From being the metropolis of Greek sovereigns, it became through the fortune of war the residence of Roman proconsuls. The gospel had been brought to it at an early period. Persons who had fled on the martyrdom of Stephen travelled as far as Antioch, “preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only,” acting according to their light and their national prepossessions. But a section of these itinerating preachers, “men of Cyprus and Cyrene,” had larger hearts and freer views, and they at Antioch “spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.” Great results followed these ministrations. Tidings of the immense success were carried to the church in Jerusalem, which at once, and probably from a combination of motives, sent Barnabas to visit the Syrian capital. The earnest and self-denying Cypriot at once undertook the work, and rejoiced in the spectacle which he witnessed; but he felt the labours so augmenting, that he went and fetched Saul to be his colleague. Their joint ministry among the mixed people that thronged the streets and colonnades of this Rome in miniature lasted a year; and such were its numerous converts, that the native population were, for the sake of distinction, obliged to coin a name for the new and rising party, and they called them Christians. Antioch thus became the metropolis of Gentile Christianity, and Jerusalem looked with jealousy on its northern rival. In it originated the first formal Christian mission, and Paul made it his headquarters, starting from it on his three great evangelistic journeys. The peace of this society, however, was soon disturbed by Jewish zealots from Jerusalem, and Paul and Barnabas went up to the mother church “about this question.” Galatians 2:1. A council was held, the decrees were issued and sent down, and the two deputies returned to Antioch and resumed their old work “teaching and preaching the word of the Lord.” At some period after this, Peter happened to come down to Antioch, and the scene here described took place. Just as from attachment to Jesus he followed “into the palace of the high priest,’ and found himself in almost the only circle where he could be tempted to deny his Lord; so now he had travelled to almost the only city which presented that strange variety of circumstances by which, from his peculiar temperament, he could be snared into this momentary cowardice and dissimulation.
Galatians 2:12. Πρὸ τοῦ γὰρ ἐλθεῖν τινὰς ἀπὸ ᾿Ιακώβου “for before that certain from James came.” What is the connection of the word ἐλθεῖν with τινὰς ἀπὸ ᾿Ιακώβου ?
1. The preposition seems to be used in no vague sense, as if they only came from James' locality, or from Jerusalem, for they came from himself. Augustine, Beza, Olshausen, Schaff, Baumgarten-Crusius, and Brown incline to this view. But why name James, if locality only be alluded to? As easy, since ἀπό has so often a local meaning, would it have been to write at once, from Jerusalem- ἀπὸ ῾Ιεροσολύμων .
2. Usteri, Winer, and Zeller connect τινὰς with ἀπὸ ᾿Ιακώβου -certain dependants or followers of James, as in the phrase οἱ ἀπὸ Πλάτωνος . Bernhardy, p. 222. Winer's explanation of this conjecture is loose- qui Jacobi auctoritate utrum jure an secus usi fuerint. But this idiom is specially connected with names of places and abstract nouns (Ellicott), and James never appears as the head of a party. His name never seems to have been used as the watchword of any faction of Jacobites, like that of Paul, Cephas, and Apollos; and this probably because he was resident in Jerusalem where the church thought and felt so much at one with himself, whereas Peter must have constantly come into contact with persons of opposite sentiments, and preached to communities of divided opinion.
3. The inference seems to be well grounded that they were persons sent from James (De Wette, Meyer, Trana). Matthew 26:47; Mark 5:35; Mark 14:43; καὶ ἄρτι ἀπ᾿ ἐκείνου ἔρχομαι , Plato, Protag. 309 B. It may, on the one hand, be too strong to affirm that they were formally sent by James on an express mission, though it may be fairly inferred that he knew of their coming, and that they appeared in Antioch with at least his sanction; but, on the other hand, it unduly softens the phrase to give it the meaning of persons who “gave out themselves as from James” (Winer, Ellicott). There is no warrant for Prof. Lightfoot's supposition, that they came “invested with some powers from James, which they abused. ” For there is no hint that they were the same very extreme party described in Acts 15:24, a party which Peter would rather have resisted than succumbed to. Who those men were, or what their mission was, we know not. The narrative of Acts says nothing of the occurrence. But from the result one may infer, that they were sent to see as to the obedience of the church to the decrees. These decrees respected the Gentiles, and indeed they originated in a reference regarding their position. No additional burden was to be placed on them; but the believing Jews were expected to keep “the customs,” and not to mix freely with the Gentiles. Acts 15:19. It may, therefore, have been suspected at Jerusalem that the Jewish believers, through intercourse with Gentile brethren, were relaxing, and were doing what Peter had begun to do at Antioch with increasing freedom; so that the business of this deputation may have been, to see that the circumcision did not presume on any licence in consequence of the opinion of the council. See Alford. Other purposes have been imagined for these “certain from James,” without any foundation. At all events, they could not be the false brethren already mentioned by Paul, nor those disowned by James in his address before the council, and in the apostolic circular. Nor could they be the bearers of the decrees, as Ritschl ( Altkath. Kirche, p. 128) supposes, for these documents had been sent down at an earlier period. Before these certain came from James, we are told of Peter-
Μετὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν συνήσθιεν “he was eating with the Gentiles.” As he had done before (Acts 10:0), and had defended the act at Jerusalem so nobly and conclusively, as is told in the following chapter (Acts 11:0). The charge at that time was καὶ συνέφαγες αὐτοῖς ,-himself admitting to Cornelius that by Jewish ordinance such intercourse was ἀθέμιτον . Compare Luke 15:1; 1 Corinthians 5:11. Some, as Olshausen and Matthies, widen the meaning of the phrase too much, as if it signified general social intercourse; and others, as Thiersch and Hilgenfeld, emphasize it too much, and refer it not to ordinary diet, but also to communion in the love-feasts and eucharist. Peter then had been acting according to conviction, and as the vision had long ago instructed him. But on the question of eating with Gentiles the council had said nothing, it only forbade certain articles of food; and the circular did not settle the general relation of converted Gentiles to the law, for it only spoke out against the necessity of circumcising them. But this last enactment releasing them from circumcision virtually declared them no longer common or unclean; and for a time at Antioch Peter thus understood it, so that his tergiversation was a violation in spirit at least of the “decrees.” There is no ground for Wieseler's assumption, which is based on the late date which he assigns to this meeting at Antioch, that Peter's conduct had reference simply to the articles of food forbidden by these “decrees” which in lapse of years had fallen into comparative desuetude, and that, in withdrawing from social intercourse with the Gentiles, he only obeyed them. The reproof of Paul on such a supposition would have been uncalled for and unjust; and for such a withdrawal, hypocrisy could not be laid to Peter's charge. The “certain from James” seem to have insisted that the decision of the council was to be limited entirely to the points specified in it, and that it did not warrant such free intercourse with believing Gentiles as Peter had been practising. The believing Gentiles were, on that view, to be an inferior caste in the church.
῞Οτε δὲ ἦλθον , ὑπέστελλεν καὶ ἀφώριζεν ἑαυτόν “but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself.” The reading ἦλθεν has B, D 1 , F, א , two other MSS., and the Itala in its favour; but the plural form has preponderant authority. The singular ἦλθεν , accepted by Lachmann, may have come from the following verse, from some reminiscence of the previous ἐλθεῖν in Galatians 2:11, or from some odd meaning attached to τινὲς ἀπὸ ᾿Ιακώβου ; for Origen has ἐλθόντος ᾿Ιακώβου πρὸς αὐτόν , as if James himself had followed his τινές . Contra Celsum, 2.1, p. 56, ed. Spencer. The two connected verbs represent Peter first as withdrawing himself, and then, as the fear grew, ultimately and formally separating himself. The imperfects show that not one act only, but the course which he was following is depicted as if placed before one's eyes. Jelf, § 401, 3.
Φοβούμενος τοὺς ἐκ περιτομῆς “fearing,” or “inasmuch as he feared them of the circumcision”-that is, Jews in blood, but Christians in creed, called ᾿Ιουδαίων τῶν πεπιστευκότων in Acts 21:20; Titus 1:10-11. The participle has a causal sense. Schmalfeld, § 207, 3. Before the τινές who had arrived at Antioch he quailed; and they certainly represented, though not by any formal commission, the creed and practice of the mother church (Wieseler). Peter might imagine that his position as the apostle of the circumcision was endangered. It would thus appear, that though he was the apostle of the circumcision, and might naturally be regarded as the head of that section of the church, there was an influence in it higher than his, and a power resident in Jerusalem of which he stood in awe. Chrysostom is anxious to show that his fear had no connection with himself, but was only anxiety about the disciples, his fear being parallel to that expressed by Paul in Galatians 4:11; and Theophylact adds, that he was condemned wrongfully by men who did not know his motive. Somewhat similar opinions are held by Erasmus, Piscator, Grotius, and Dr. Brown, and most naturally by Baronius and Bellarmine.
Galatians 2:13. Καὶ συνυπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι “and the other Jews also dissembled with him.” The compound verb-the aorist passive with a deponent sense (Polyb. 3.31, 7)-means “to act a part along with,” “to play the hypocrite in company with.” The rest of the believing Jews in Antioch acted as Peter did-withdrew themselves, and shunned all social intercourse, of the kind at least referred to, with their fellow-believers of the Gentiles. Now this secession was hypocrisy, for Peter and these other Jewish converts transgressed against their better convictions. They concealed their real views, or acted as if they thought that it was really wrong to eat with Gentiles. Probably they felt as if they had gone beyond the understood compact, in enjoying such familiar intercourse with their Gentile brethren; and on account of the party which came from James, they suddenly and decisively asserted their rigid Judaism, and acted as if they had been convinced that their salvation depended on complete ritual conformity. This hypocrisy involved a denial of one of the primary truths of the gospel, for it had a tendency to lead the Gentiles to believe that they too must observe the law in order to justification and life. It is added, in fine, to show the marvellous strength of the current-
῞Ωστε καὶ Βαρνάβας συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει “so that even Barnabas was carried along with them by their dissimulation.” The καί is ascensive “even.” Winer, § 53, 3, e. The verb is used only tropically in the New Testament, but not always in malam partem: Romans 12:16 with the dative of thing. The particle ὥστε is usually joined with the infinitive, that mood, according to grammarians, being used when the result is a matter of necessity; but the indicative, as here, is employed when the result is represented as a matter of fact. Klotz-Devarius, 2.772; Kühner, 2.563; Winer, § 41, 5, 1. The vacillation of Barnabas was the direct but not the necessary result of their dissimulation. The dative ὑποκρίσει may be that of instrument, or it may be governed by συν in composition, as our version gives it. 2 Peter 3:17; ἡ Σπάρτη συναπήγετο τῇ κοινῇ τῆς ῾Ελλάδος ἁλώσει , Zosimus, Hist. 5.6, p. 409, ed. Reitemeier,-in which places also both forms of construction are possible. The first, said to be so harsh, is probably the true one. They were swept along with others by their hypocrisy, and of course swept into it, though the translation cannot be that of the Vulgate, in illam simulationem. That, however, is the undoubted inference, as συν implies it. Fritzsche on Romans 12:16. The contagion of such an example infected Barnabas, “a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith,” who had shared in Paul's labours among the Gentiles, and must have possessed no little of his free and elevated spirit. Even the apostle's colleague was swept away from his side by the influence of Peter, and perhaps by a similar awe of the τινές . If Peter and Barnabas had changed their views, hypocrisy could not have been laid to their charge. But with their opinions unchanged, they acted as if they had been changed; therefore are they accused of dissimulation. It was “not indecision” of opinion, as Jowett affirms, but indecision certainly in acting up to their unaltered convictions. Nor was it error or inconsistency, induced by want of clear apprehension, that is laid to their charge (Hilgenfeld, Bisping); but downright hypocrisy, and that is the proper term to describe their conduct. What Peter could say in his genuine state may be read in his first Epistle, Galatians 1:22-23. This dissimulation, so wide and powerful, was compromising the freedom of the gospel, for it was subverting the doctrine of justification by faith; and therefore the apostle, who could on fitting occasions “to the Jews become a Jew,” was obliged to visit it with immediate and stern rebuke.
Galatians 2:14. ᾿Αλλ᾿ ὅτε εἶδον ὅτι οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσι πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου “But,” or “howbeit,” “when I saw that they were not walking according to the truth of the gospel.” The compound verb occurs only here, and is translated in the Vulgate, recte ambularent; in Tertullian, non recte pede incedentes: Contra Marc. 4.3. ᾿Ορθόπους (Soph. Antig. 972) occurs also in later ecclesiastical writers, and the use of ὀρθός in other compounds leads to the correct apprehension of its meaning here, which is “to foot it straight,” to walk straight, that is, in no crooked paths-to conduct one's self uprightly or honestly. The apostle often uses περιπατεῖν and στοιχεῖν . See under Ephesians 2:0, etc. The present tense employed as in this clause denotes action beginning at a previous period and still continuing “a state in its entire duration.” Kühner, § 846; Winer, § 40, 2, c. Schmalfeld says that in such a case das Subjekt in dem Processe der Ausführung seines That vergegenwärtigt wird, p. 96. The πρός , pointing to the norm or rule, signifies “according to.” Luke 12:47; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Winer, § 49, h; Bernhardy, p. 265. But Estius, Baumgarten-Crusius, Meyer, and Alford give it its more ordinary sense of “in the direction of,” or marking aim, that aim being, according to Meyer, to uphold and further the truth of the gospel. The apostle generally uses κατά , as denoting rule or measure, after περιπατεῖν . Ellicott says, indeed, in reply, that “motion is much more obscurely expressed in ὀρθοποδεῖν than περιπατεῖν .” Hofmann affirms that the verb means “to stand with equal feet,” ὀρθόπους ( Antigone, 972) meaning ein gerad aufrecht stehender. Usage seems to declare for the second meaning, and the idea of norm may be implied in the verb itself. The “truth of the gospel” is not the true gospel, but the truth which it contains or embodies-evidently the great doctrine of justification by faith, implying the non-obligation of the ceremonial law on Gentile converts, and the cessation of that exclusiveness which the chosen people had so long cherished. See Galatians 2:5.
Εἶπον τῷ Κηφᾷ . The reading Κηφᾷ has the authority of A, B, C, א , the Vulgate, Syriac, and many other versions, with several of the Greek fathers; but Πέτρῳ has only in its favour D, F, K, L. The apostle uses no strong term, does not say in any overbearing spirit, “I challenged him, or I rebuked him;” but simply, “I said to him.” The expostulation, however, was in public (not κατ᾿ ἰδίαν now), and he puts his own apostolic independence in direct conflict with that of Peter. He was in this publicity only following the injunction which he afterwards gave to Timothy, 1 Timothy 5:20. But while the words ἔμπροσθεν πάντων , “before them all,” describe the publicity of the address, there is no warrant for saying expressly, as Thiersch does, that the phrase means “in a meeting of both sections of the congregation specially summoned for the purpose.”
The scene is quite in keeping with the respective antecedents and character of the two apostles. See note at end of chapter.
The address is somewhat difficult and involved, from its brevity and compactness, and its passing away from the direct second person singular to the first person singular which rehearses in wondrous words the depth of Paul's own experience. Yet Gwynne, in opposition to all who have written on the subject, says, “Methinks a plainer, simpler, more intelligible line of argument is not to be found within the compass of the Bible.”
The commencement is bold and somewhat abrupt-
Εἰ σὺ , ᾿Ιουδαῖος ὑπάρχων , ἐθνικῶς καὶ οὐχ ᾿Ιουδαϊκῶς ζῇς “If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles and not after the manner of the Jews.” The place of the verb in our text has the authority of A, B, C, F, א , MSS., and Latin fathers. Cod. Clar., Sang., with the text of Ambros. Sedulius, Agap., omit καὶ οὐχ ᾿Ιουδαϊκῶς . The position of ζῇς in the received text after ἐθνικῶς has the authority of D, K, L, nearly all MSS., the majority of versions and of the Greek fathers, and is followed by Tischendorf. Instead of οὐκ , οὐχ is found in A, C, א 1 , etc., and is accepted by Tischendorf, B and D 1 having οὐχι . Winer, § 5. Paul brings the matter home at once to him. If a Jew as thou art- ὑπάρχων , stronger than ὤν , which is found in D 1 . The εἰ throws no doubt on the case, but puts it syllogistically, as in Romans 5:10; Romans 15:27; 2Co 3:7 ; 2 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 3:2. If thou, being a Jew-born and brought up a Jew as thou hast been-the stress lying on ᾿Ιουδαῖος . By the present ζῇς is represented the usual life of the apostle-his normal conduct; for at that very moment he had receded from his ordinary practice, and was again living ᾿Ιουδαικῶς . The present ζῇς is certainly not for the past ἔζης , either actually (Flatt) or in effect (De Wette), nor is εἰ for ἐπειδή , nor ζῇς for ἔζησας (Usteri). Like all Jews, he had felt it unlawful- ἀθέμιτον - κολλᾶσθαι ἢ προσέρχεσθαι ἀλλοφύλῳ -to associate with or come unto a foreigner. Acts 10:28; Joseph. Cont. Revelation 2:28. Such association was limited and defined by συνέφαγες when Peter was challenged for his free social intercourse with Cornelius. Since that period of divine warning and illumination at Joppa, as to what was κοινὸν ἢ ἀκαθάρτον , Peter had so broken through Jewish custom that he freely ate and drank with Gentile converts. He had been doing so till the moment of his present withdrawal. To live ἐθνικῶς was to disregard the old distinction of meats, drinks, and races; and this Peter did, as is said in Galatians 2:12. And he had not renounced his liberty; he had in no sense retracted his principles of life; he had not refused to eat with Gentiles from force of conviction that such association was wrong, but only from pressure of circumstances-undue deference to the prejudices of some he desired to stand well with. So that Paul justly and with emphasis says ζῇς “thou art living”-the word by the present form rebuking his inconsistency, as if overlooking his momentary defection. Wholly out of question is the view of Usteri, that the adverbs ἐθνικῶς and ᾿Ιουδαικῶς are to be taken ideally and not in their ordinary objective sense, the first meaning “wrongly,” and the second “with spiritual rectitude,” Romans 2:23; that is, Peter had acted ethnically or sinfully, in his dissimulation, since he was not “an Israelite in whom is no guile.” But it is not to the morality, it is to the hollowness and inconsistency of the action that the apostle refers. The charge is, Thou art living after the manner of the Gentiles, and, though a Jew, not after the manner of the Jews. Now, this being admitted and undeniable, the challenge is-
Πῶς τὰ ἔθνη ἀναγκάζεις ᾿Ιουδαΐζειν ; “how art thou compelling the Gentiles to live after the manner of the Jews?” Wycliffe has it more tersely idiomatic-If thou that art a Jewe lyuest hethenlich and not jewliche, how constreynest thou hethen men to bicome jewis? We read πῶς on the authority of A, B, C, D, F, א , the majority of versions and the Latin fathers. The other reading τί of the Received Text, has K, L, the majority of minuscules, and the Greek fathers in its favour, and it is retained by Tischendorf, in violation of his own critical principles. The verb ἀναγκάζειν , used here as often with an accusative followed by an infinitive, passes away from its strict original meaning into the kindred one of moral compulsion-by suasion, menaces, or authority. So often in Plato and in Xenophon. Ast defines it as argumentis cogo aliquem ut concedat, Lex. Platon. sub voce; Sturz, Lex. Xen. sub voce, gives it as necessitas quam presens rerum conditio efficit. Mat 14:22 ; 2 Corinthians 12:11. See under Galatians 2:3. Libanius has τί ἡμᾶς ἀναγκάζεις τοῖς ἤθεσιν ᾿Αθηναῖων ἀκολουθεῖν , 455. Comp. Hom. Clement. 14.7, and Recogn. 9.38. It has been supposed by De Wette, Wieseler, Lechler, and Ritschl, that the τινὲς ἀπὸ ᾿Ιακώβου had insisted on the observance of the ceremonial law, and that Peter did not merely remain silent or passive, but openly and actively defended their view. But this verb and the context afford no sure ground for this extreme supposition. All we are warranted to say is, that Peter belied his own principles in his conduct; for there is no proof that either he had changed them, or had intimated that he had changed them. The Jewish party naturally followed Peter, even Barnabas among them; and such an example in the circumstances, and connected with the arrival of these men from the mother church, exerted a pressure amounting to a species of compulsion on the Gentile converts. What inference could they draw from the sudden change of Peter but an obligation to follow him and submit? The direct tendency of Peter's conduct was so to act upon them as to constrain them into Judaism,-a result which, by the concealment of his real principles, he was doing his best to bring about. The verb ᾿Ιουδαΐζειν is apparently more pointed and full than ᾿Ιουδαϊκῶς ζῇν -the one depicting the condition of, and the other implying the entrance into, the Jewish life, and properly used of a conforming Gentile. Joseph. Bel. Jude 1:2 :18; Jude 1:2 :2; Sept. Esther 8:17. Wieseler, according to his theory already referred to, takes “to Judaize” as equivalent to, “to keep the decrees of the council.” ᾿Ιουδαΐζειν is formed like ἑλληνίζειν , φιλλιπίζειν , λακωνίζειν , μηδίζειν . Buttmann, § 119-8, d. The πῶς represents the case as incomprehensible and surprising- qui fit ut, quo jure (Winer); Mark 12:35; John 4:9; Romans 3:6; Romans 6:2;-puts his conduct in such a light, that it needed immediate vindication.
How far the address of the apostle extends, has been disputed. Beza, Grotius, Semler, Koppe, Matthies, Hermann, Wieseler, and Hofmann hold that the address ends with Galatians 2:14; Luther and Calvin that it ends with Galatians 2:16; Cajetan, Neander, Turner, Gwynne, that it ends with Galatians 2:17; and Flatt with Galatians 2:18. On the other hand, the majority of commentators suppose that the address extends to the end of the chapter. For it would be strange if, in such a crisis, these two clauses alone, or these and Galatians 2:15, formed the entire expostulation.
Wieseler argues, and he is joined in this portion of his argument by Hofmann, that if the two apostles were at one in principle, then, though Peter dissembled, how could Paul so earnestly prove to him the truth which he did not deny? But Peter was not alone concerned; the words were spoken “before them all,” and the inconsistency between principle and practice needed to be fully exposed. The appeal in Galatians 3:1, it is argued, is abrupt if the address to Peter be carried on to the end of the chapter. But the abruptness is not more than that expressed by θαυμάζω in Galatians 1:6; and the conclusion of Paul's expostulation so shapes itself as to accord with, and form an introduction to, the train of argument and appeal with which the epistle is to be filled. Wieseler objects again, that the direct σύ is not found after Galatians 2:14, and that the tone of a personal address is wanting. But the σύ is taken up by the ἡμεῖς , and the apostle does not reproduce his exact words; he gives only the substance without the precise original form. Nay, the ἐγώ in the hypothetical case put in Galatians 2:18 plainly arraigns the conduct of Peter, and is an indirect description of his inconsistency “For if the things which I destroyed, these again I build up, I constitute myself a transgressor.” In the 15th verse the words are ἡμεῖς φύσει ᾿Ιουδαῖοι , which could not be said directly to the Galatian churches, the majority of whom were Gentiles. Nor are there any marks of transition, indicating where he passes from the address to Peter to the general style of the epistle, till we come to the sharp and startling words of Galatians 3:1, ὦ ἀνόητοι Γαλάται . The verses, too, are all closely connected-the 15th and 16th verses by syntax; these to the 17th by the adversative inference in εἰ δέ ; it to the 18th by the argumentative εἰ γάρ ; and it to the 19th by γάρ , rendering a reason,-while the remaining clauses are logically linked together to the end of the chapter. Galatians 2:15-17 are in the first person plural ἡμεῖς , and the remainder in the first person singular,-not precisely the apostle's “musing or arguing with himself with an indirect reference to the Galatians” (Jowett), but the vindication of his consistency, which had its roots deep in his own personal history. The apostle is not “speaking to himself,” nor can we regard the words as “the after comment of the narrator” (Lightfoot); but he brings out some elements of his own spiritual consciousness to vindicate the part which he had taken, and to show by this representative I that he, and those who had passed through his experience, of all of whom he was a prominent specimen, could not but regard Peter's tergiversation not only as unworthy of him and detrimental to the cause of the gospel, but as utterly in conflict with the inner life and trust of every believer. Nor does the apostle really “drift away from Peter at Antioch to the Judaizers in Galatia” (Lightfoot); rather, the apostle's reminiscence of his address to Peter naturally throws into relief the points which had reference to the letter which he was writing at the moment. That is to say, his immediate object was to show his perfect independence of the primary apostles, even of Peter; for he opposed him resolutely on a certain occasion, when by taking a retrograde step he was exercising an adverse Judaistic influence; but this theme of dispute was in itself intimately connected with the Judaizing reaction in Galatia, so that in his narrative of the interview and expostulation he brings out its bearing on the immediate object of the epistle, to which he passes at once without any formal transition. The apostle gives only an abridged report of what he said to Peter; and he introduces what he says of himself, first, because he was the object of suspicion and attack, and secondly, because at the same time it carried him into the line of thought which he was about to pursue in the parchment under his hand. He is not to be supposed as calling up his very words, but he writes the general purport in brief, at once vindicating his independence, or in a human sense his autonomy, and exposing in the process the very error which had seduced the Galatian converts.
Galatians 2:15. ῾Ημεῖς φύσει ᾿Ιουδαῖοι , καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί “we by nature Jews, and not of the Gentiles sinners.” Primasius, Elsner, Schmidt, Bagge, Grotius, and Brown connect ἁμαρτωλοί with ᾿Ιουδαῖοι - nos natura Judaei, licet non ex Gentibus, peccatores,-we being by nature Jews, and not of the Gentiles, yet sinners; or, Jews, and though not Gentiles, still sinners. True, the apostle concludes all under sin; and Jews are not only no exception, but their sinfulness has special aggravations. Romans 2:3; Romans 2:22; Romans 3:9; Romans 3:23-24. Yet he does not here say that the Jews are not sinners, but the heathen are characterized as “sinners” from the Jewish standpoint-sinners inasmuch as they are Gentiles, or in consequence of being Gentiles; and it would be as unfair to infer from this language, on the one hand, that those who were by birth Jews were therefore not sinners (Hofmann), as, on the other hand, that the Gentilism of the contrasted party excused their sin. The term is not taken in a strict spiritual sense, but with the signification it carried in Jewish parlance as a designation of all who were beyond the limits of the theocracy. The apostle thus speaks relatively: Men born Gentiles, being without the law, were by the privileged Jews reckoned “sinners.” Romans 2:12; Eph 2:12 ; 1 Corinthians 9:21; Luke 18:32; Luke 24:7, compared with Matthew 26:45; Matthew 18:17; 1 Samuel 15:18; 1Ma 2:44 ; Tob 13:6 ; Hom. Clement. 11.16, p. 241, ed. Dressel. It is perhaps better to supply ἐσμέν than ὄντες . We (himself and Peter) are Jews by nature, not of Gentile extraction, and therefore, from our national point of view, sinners. Wieseler, according to his view, takes the ἡμεῖς to be Paul and the other Jewish believers like-minded with him. The stress is on ἡμεῖς , and καὶ οὐκ normally follows an affirmative assertion. The dative φύσει (Winer, § 36, 6) affirms that they were Jews in blood and descent, not proselytes,- ἐκ γένους καὶ οὐ προσήλυτοι , Theodore Mopsuest. See under Ephesians 2:3. But the opposite phrase ἐξ ἐθνῶν has not the very same meaning, as it signifies, though not so distinctively, “out of or belonging to the Gentiles,” as in Acts 15:23. The καί may have a consecutive force: Gentiles, and being such, sinners. Philippians 4:9; Matthew 23:32. The particle μέν is not needed in such a connection, nor is there an ellipse, as Rückert, Schott, and others suppose. Fritzsche, Romans 10:19, vol. 2.423; Donaldson, § 563. The verse seems in a word to be a concessive statement to strengthen what follows: Though we are Jews by descent, and not Gentiles who as such are regarded by us from our elevation as sinners, yet our Judaism, with all its boasted superiority, could not bring us justification. Born and bred Jews as we are, we were obliged to renounce our trust in Judaism, for it was powerless to justify us. Why then go back to it, and be governed by it, as if we had not abandoned it at all?
Galatians 2:16. Εἰδότες δὲ ὅτι οὐ δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ἔργων νόμου “but knowing as we do that a man is not justified by the works of the law.” The δέ is not found in the Received Text, nor in A, D 3 , K, some versions and Greek fathers; but it occurs in B, C, D 1 , F, L, א . Some connect the verse with the preceding, regarding its ἡμεῖς as taken up by the following καὶ ἡμεῖς , the nominative to ἐπιστεύσαμεν : “We by nature Jews, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, even we believed into Christ.” This is the view of Winer, Matthies, B.-Crusius, De Wette, and Alford-the whole forming one sentence. But the previous verse may be taken as a complete statement: “We are Jews by nature; but, knowing as we do that a man is not justified by works of law, even we believed.” Such is the view of Beza, Borger, Schott, Hilgenfeld, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Ewald, Hofmann, Meyer, and Turner. The construction is supported by the δέ , which was probably omitted in favour of the other view. Nor can δέ well mean “nevertheless,” as Alford renders it, nor “and,” as Bagge gives it; nor can obgleich, “although,” be supplied to the previous verse, as is done by De Wette, or quamquam, as by Trana. None of these supplementary ekes are required.
The δέ then is “but,” with its usual adversative meaning, pointing to a different course from that to which the previous verse might be supposed to lead, and indicating a transition from a trust in Judaism, so natural to a born Jew, to faith in Christ. The participle εἰδότες has a causal sense (Schmalfeld, § 207, 3); but the meaning is not that it was a logical conclusion from the premiss, “a man is not justified by the works of the law,” which led to the conversion of Peter and Paul. The faith of Peter had showed itself in attachment to the person and life of the Master, and must have developed within him the conviction, that He to whom he had ascribed “the words of eternal life” could alone bestow the blessing. Paul, on the other hand, had been arrested in a moment by the sudden challenge of Jesus (Philippians 3:12); and his first thought was, the identity of Him that spoke out of that “glory” with Him who had been put to death on the cross. This earliest belief, begotten in an instant, must have created the persuasion, that in Jesus and not in works of law a man is justified. But the apostle now speaks in the light of present knowledge, puts into a definite shape the result of those mingled impressions which led to their discipleship, or at least sustained it.
The phrase ἐξ ἔργων νόμου , the stress on ἔργων , may be rendered “by works of law,” as virtually by Peile, Brown, and Gwynne; for if a man cannot be justified by the Mosaic law, he cannot be justified by any other. But,
I. Such a generalization, or the idea of obligation arising out of law, though it is the blessed truth, could scarcely be attributed to so early a period in the religious history of the apostle and that of the Jewish converts.
II. The law referred to is certainly the law in dispute, the Jewish law, the law which Peter was so inconsistent as to allow himself to observe through pressure of Jewish influence-his hypocrisy in the matter leading to the whole controversy. That a man cannot be justified by any law whatever on the score of duty done, is indeed the ultimate inference, but it was not the immediate point of discussion. That a man cannot be justified by the works of the Mosaic law, was the doctrine demanding immediate defence, the doctrine so far invalidated by Peter's dissimulation; nay, it was this conviction which led so many Jews in possession of that law to put their trust in Christ.
III. Νόμος , in the sense of the Mosaic law, does not require the article, as some suppose; for it was to the Jewish mind the only divine law, the only law revealed and sanctioned for them. In the Gospels it has the article indeed, except in Luke 2:23-24, in which places there is the qualifying genitive κυρίου . But it wants the article in Romans 2:12; Romans 2:23; Romans 4:13-15; Romans 5:13; Romans 5:20; Romans 7:1; Romans 10:4; 1 Corinthians 9:20; Galatians 3:10-11; Galatians 3:18; and as Winer remarks, “it always occurs as a genitive when the principal noun has no article,” § xix. Middleton, Gr. Art. p. 48.
The preposition ἐκ , “out of,” denoting source, passes often into a causal meaning, “resulting from,” and is not in such use distinguishable, as Fritzsche remarks, from διά , as frequently in Herodotus, or even from ὑπό or παρά : Epist. ad Rom. i. pp. 332-3; Jelf, § 621, 3. Source or origination may be the relation here indicated: works are not the source out of which justification springs; or, with a slight change of relation, works are not the cause of justification. The genitive νόμου is taken as that of subject by Augustine,-by the Catholic interpreters, Aquinas, Bellarmine, and Salmero,-by Windischmann and Maier, as also by Usteri, Neander, Olshausen, Lepsius, Hofmann, and Gwynne who calls it a genitive of quality “with an adjectival force.” Under that view the meaning is, “works capable of satisfying the requirements of God's law, i.e. meritorious works.” But ἔργα νόμου are works which fulfil the law, in contrast, as Meyer remarks, to ἁμαρτήματα νόμου , Wis 2:12 , deeds which transgress the law. In this way it is regarded as the genitive of object by Beza, Rückert, De Wette, Wieseler. And the νόμος or law we regard as the whole Mosaic law, and not merely its ceremonial part, as is the opinion of Theodoret, Pelagius, Erasmus, Michaelis, Semler, Schott. And the ἔργα are not works external in character and proceeding from no inner principle of love or loyalty, ἔργα νεκρά , which Catholic commentators place in contrast to spes, charitas, timor; the plural ἔργα does not of itself convey this insinuation (Usteri). See under Ephesians 2:10. See Calvin, in loc.; Philippi on Romans 3:20, p. 89, etc., 3d ed.-his opinion being changed from that expressed in his first edition. Neither meritum de congruo nor meritum de condigno has any place in a sinner's justification. The so-called ceremonial part of the law may indeed have been specially in the apostle's mind, as suggested by Peter's withdrawal from eating with the Gentile converts, but the modern distinction of moral and ceremonial is nowhere formally made or recognised in Scripture; the law is regarded as one code. See under Galatians 3:10-13.
᾿Εὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ “except by faith in Jesus Christ,”-the stress lying on πίστεως . This is the order of the proper names in C, D, F, K, L, and א , the majority of cursives, versions, and the Greek fathers, Chrysostom, Theodoret; also, Jerome and Ambrose. The inverse order, adopted by Tischendorf in his 7th ed., has in its favour only A, B, Victorinus, and Augustine. The phrase ἐὰν μή has the usual meaning of εἰ μή , and refers only to the οὐ δικαιοῦται -a man is not justified by the works of the law, or a man is not justified except by faith in Jesus Christ. See under Galatians 1:7; Galatians 1:19, pp. 33, 51; Matthew 12:4; Luke 4:26-27; Romans 14:14, and the remarks of Fritzsche on that place, vol. 3.195. The verb δικαιοῦται is the ethical present-the expression of an enduring truth. The relation indicated by ἐκ in the former clause is indicated in this clause by διά ,-the reference being to source or cause in the former, in the present to means or instrument; or, as Meyer says, it is causality in two forms “ des Ausgehens und des Vermitteltseins. ” It is the apostle's manner to exhibit relations in various connected phases by a change of prepositions. Romans 3:30; 1 Corinthians 8:6, etc. The διά is changed again into ἐκ in the next clause, showing that they indicate the same relation with a slight difference of view,- πίστις being taken as cause or as instrument in connection with-that is, originating or bringing about-the same result. Besides ἐκ and διά , ἐπί with the dative occurs Philippians 3:9, and the simple genitive is used Romans 4:11. Bengel's strange distinction is, that διά refers to Gentiles, and ἐκ to Jews. Like the preceding νόμου , the genitive I. X. is that of object. Rationalists, according to Wieseler, make it the genitive of subject. Thus Schultess, der Glaube Christi, Glauben wie Christus an Gott den Vater hatte und bethätigte. But others, not rationalists certainly, hold a similar view. Thus Gwynne, who takes the genitive subjectively or possessively, “Faith not only of Christ as author or giver, but of Christ as the author or possessor-Christ, in a word, believing within them.” See also Stier, Ep 1:447. Whatever theological truth may be in the statements, they do not lie naturally or apparently in the words before us. The faith which justifies is characterized by its object, for by its object it is distinguished from all other kinds of belief; the difference being, not how one believes, but what one believes.
These clauses seem sometimes to have been understood in the following fallacious way, chiefly by Catholic expositors: “A man is not justified by works or by the law, except through faith in Christ; that is, on condition of faith in Christ, works of law will justify a man, or works acquire justifying power through faith in Christ.” Non justificatur homo ex operibus legis nisi per fidem Jesu Christi, i.e. opera legis non justificant quatenus sint legis, sed quatenus ex fide fiunt, ita ut opera vim justificandi a fide accipiant (a-Lapide, Holsten). But this opinion is plainly against the grammatical meaning and the entire logical bearing of the apostle's argument. See Paraeus in reply.
The notion of Jatho is peculiar, as he takes ἔργα νόμου to mean, in some way or other, the works done in fulfilment of the law by Christ-the obedientia activa, die Gesetzeserfüllung Christi, on which faith lays hold. A man is not justified by Christ's fulfilment of the law, except through faith in Him who had so acted. The idea is far-fetched, and wholly foreign to the natural meaning of the terms, for it comes not within the scope of the apostle's statement.
No man can fulfil the law, and therefore no man can be justified by it; for as he breaks it, so he is exposed to the threatened penalty. Law detects and convicts transgressors; it has warrant to condemn, but it is powerless to acquit. It pronounces every man a violator of its precepts, and leaves him under the curse of death. But the law is holy; it does not create his guilt, save in the sense of showing many acts to be sinful which without its light and power might be regarded as indifferent, and of stirring up desire after forbidden things: it only declares his guilt; and “we abandon it,” as Chrysostom says, “not as evil, but as weak.” Faith is a principle wholly different from works. It does not merit justification; but as it has its root in Him who died for us, it brings us into union with Him, and into a participation of all the blessings which His obedience unto death has secured for us. It is not the ground ( propter), but only the instrument ( διὰ πίστεως , and never διὰ πίστιν or propter fidem, Lightfoot) by which Christ's merit is laid hold of “the hand,” as Hooker says, “that putteth on Christ to justification.” See under chap. iii.
Καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς Χριστὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν ἐπιστεύσαμεν “we also believed into Christ Jesus.” There is some variation of reading as to the proper names. B, some versions, Theodoret, and Augustine place ᾿Ιησοῦν first, so that it is precarious to lay stress on the change. The aorist is not “we have believed,” but indefinite, or at a previous point of time “we believed,” The καί may be taken in its ascensive force “even we,” born Jews as we were. Its ordinary meaning, however, is just as emphatic “we also,” as well as the Gentiles “we too,” born under the law, renounced all trust in the works of the law, and putting ourselves quite on a level with Gentile sinners who never had the law,-we as well as they believed into Christ Jesus. In ἡμεῖς there is the personal application of the precious doctrine-a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Christ Jesus. In order to be so justified, “we too” believed on Christ, is the exhaustive statement; and Paul reminds Peter how they had both brought this truth home to themselves, and acted in harmony with it. The relation indicated by εἰς -not so frequent a usage in Paul as in John-is more than mere direction, and means “into” (Winer, § 30), in the same way as the other expression, εἰς Χριστὸν ἐβαπτίσθητε , in Galatians 3:27. The faith enters into Christ through union with Him. But faith is not to be identified with this union or incorporation (Gwynne), for it is rather the means of creating and sustaining it-the Spirit being the agent, the Spirit in the Head giving organic union to all the members.
The verb πιστεύω is used with various prepositions. Thus, it sometimes governs the dative, expressing an act of simple credence, a usage common in the Septuagint. See Matthew 21:25; Matthew 21:28-32; Mark 11:31; Luke 20:5, in reference to the Baptist; John 5:38; John 5:46; Acts 18:8; Galatians 3:6. Sometimes, though rarely, it is followed by the dative with ἐν , expressing confidence in or in union with: Mark 1:15, Sept. Jeremiah 12:6, Psalms 78:22, הֶאַמִיןב ;-sometimes, but very seldom, by the dative with ἐπί , implicit reliance on: Luke 24:25, spoken of divine oracles, 1 Timothy 1:16, Matthew 27:42;-sometimes with the simple accusative of the thing believed: John 11:26;-occasionally with εἰς : 1 John 5:10;-sometimes with accusative of person and εἰς -faith going out toward and entering into,-often, as might be expected, in John, and also in Peter; and sometimes with an accusative and ἐπί -faith going out with a view of being reposed upon- fidem alicui adjungere,-only once in Sept. Wis 12:2 . The accusative with εἰς or ἐπί is more specially characteristic of believing in the New Testament-of that faith which implies union with its object, or consciously places calm confidence on it. Romans 4:5. The ecclesiastical uses of the verb and noun, the more correct and the laxer, will be found in Suicer's Thes. sub voce. See also Reuss, Theol. Chret. vol. ii. p. 129.
῞Ινα δικαιωθῶμεν ἐκ πίστεως Χριστοῦ “in order that we might be justified by the faith of Christ.” This reading is well supported, and is generally accepted. Χ . is omitted in F, Theodor., Tert.,-the omission made apparently on account of the previous repetition of the name. The ἵνα reveals the final purpose or object of their believing-the momentous end sought to be realized. The use of ἐκ shows that it does not essentially differ from διά in the previous part of the verse, and it was preferred probably as being directly opposed to the repeated ἐξ ἔργων . Justification springs out of faith in Christ, not as its ultimate source, but as its instrumental cause. Or may not ἐκ have been suggested by the previous εἰς - πίστις εἰς Χ . . . . ἐκ πίστεως Χ .-out of this faith so uniting us with Him into whom it enters as its object, comes justification? The apostle adds in contrast, καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου “and not by the works of the law.” See on the first and last clauses.
If the reading of the previous clauses as here given be adopted as correct, there are three ways in which the Saviour is mentioned-Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, Christ. It is hard to say what suggested such variations to the apostle's mind in this verse or elsewhere. The nouns are all anarthrous, and, as may be expected, there are often various readings. In this epistle the names Jesus Christ and Christ Jesus occur about equally; but with ἐν it is always Χ . Ι ., as with εἰς in this verse. If the variations of name are designed to be significant, then they may be explained thus: In the first clause where the name occurs, it is Jesus Christ “the faith of Jesus Christ”-faith which has for its object the living and loving man brought so close to us by His humanity indicated by His birth-name Jesus, and that Jesus the Messiah or Christ, the double name being connected with a proposition of universal application. Then in the next clause it is Christ Jesus “we also believed into Christ Jesus”-into Him, the promised and anointed Deliverer, His mission and work giving our faith its warrant, and our union with Him its saving reality, this Messiah being He who was called Jesus,-a proposition made by the καὶ ἡμεῖς especially Jewish in its aspect, and therefore naturally giving the name Christ or Messiah the prominence in thought and order. Next it is simply “Christ” “that we might be justified by the faith of Christ.” The solitary Jewish name in its recurrence is all-inclusive to the ἡμεῖς “we” “you, Peter, and I:” we Jews believed on our Messiah, on whose mother and for Him rested the unction of the Holy One, and on whom at His baptism the Spirit visibly descended, in fulfilment of the oracles and promises of the Old Testament. In the Gospels these names are used with distinctive propriety; and it may be added, that ᾿Ιησοῦς , the familiar name of the Man, occurs in the Gospels 620 times,-61 of these, however, being various readings; that ὁ Χριστός , the official designation, occurs 47 times, four of these being various readings; and Χριστός five times,-the form Χριστὸς ᾿Ιησοῦς not occurring once. But in the Epistles such precision is not preserved: the ascended Lord had become more than mere Jesus, and ᾿Ιησοῦς occurs only 62 times, 10 of these being various readings; the promised Deliverer now stood out to view, and ὁ Χριστός occurs 108 times, 22 being various readings; and the simple Χριστός 148 times, 17 being various readings. The compound name is also naturally employed: ᾿Ιησοῦς Χριστός being used 156 times (nine various readings); and Χριστὸς ᾿Ιησοῦς , which is never used in the Gospels and only two or three times in the Acts, occurs in the Epistles 64 times (two various readings). These changes are natural, and are easily accounted for. Χριστός lost its official distinctiveness and passed into a proper name, though there are places where the names could not be interchanged. The name ᾿Ιησοῦς (Joshua) is from שׁיחַ ö הַמָּ ִ Nehemiah 8:17, the later form of א , “ Jehovah-help,” Numbers 13:16, Matthew 1:21. Compare Acts 7:45, Hebrews 4:8. Some of the Greek fathers absurdly derived the word from ᾿Ιάομαι , as Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, and Cyril of Jerusalem who says “it means saviour among the Hebrews, but in the Greek tongue ᾿Ιώμενος ”-Healer. Χριστός , א , or the anointed one, is applied to such as had enjoyed the sacred unction. The priest is often called ὁ χριστός , Leviticus 4:3; Leviticus 4:5; Leviticus 4:16; the king was also called ὁ χριστός , 1Sa 12:3 ; 1 Samuel 12:5, as is also Cyrus, Isaiah 45:1; and the prophets also get the same title- τῶν χριστῶν μου , Psalms 105:15 -my anointed ones, Abraham being specially referred to, Genesis 20:7. The word is applied in pre-eminence to Jesus, and the reason is given in Luke 1:35; Matthew 3:16; Matthew 12:18; John 3:34; Acts 10:38. In the Received Text the last clause of the verse reads-
Διότι ( ὅτι ) οὐ δικαιωθήσεται ἐξ ἔργων νόμου πᾶσα σάρξ “because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” This order of the words is found only in K, L, in the Gothic version, and in some of the Greek fathers. But the order ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται is found in A, B, C, D, F, א , in the Itala, Vulgate, Syriac, and in many Latin fathers. The reading διότι is doubtful. It is found in C, D 3 , K, L, many MSS., versions, and fathers, and is adopted by Tischendorf and Ellicott; whereas the shorter ὅτι has in its favour A, B, D 1 , F, א , etc., and is received by Lachmann, Alford, Meyer, and Lightfoot. It may be said that διότι was taken from Romans 3:20; but it may be replied that ὅτι is a correction of the longer διότι : the latter, however, is not so likely. The clause is a free use of Old Testament language, and in Paul's manner it is naturally introduced by ὅτι which in meaning is not materially different from διότι in the later writers “because that,” “because.” It is not a formal quotation introduced by a formula, but rather a reminiscence of Psalms 143:2 in the Sept., ὅτι οὐ δικαιωθήσεται ἐνώπιόν σου πᾶς ζῶν . That the allusion is to that psalm, is indicated by the Hebraism οὐ πᾶσα . The apostle leaves out ἐνώπιόν σου , which implies an appeal to Jehovah; and to give the clause special adaptation to the case before him, he adds ἐξ ἔργων νόμου . The Hebrew reads, לאאּ יִצְדַּק לְפָנֶיךָכָלאּחָי ø כִּי . The negative לא ø בךֵלוֹנגס to the verb, as the Masoretic punctuation shows (Ewald), and forms a universal negative. Exodus 12:43; Joshua 11:12; Jeremiah 32:16. So in the Greek: non-justification is predicated of all flesh. Compare Matthew 24:22, Luke 1:37, Acts 10:14. The idiom is found chiefly in “sentential quotations,” though it occurs often in the Septuagint. Exodus 12:16; Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14; 2 Samuel 15:11. It is put by Leusden in the sixth section of his sixteenth class of Hebraisms: Philologus Heb. Graec. p. 118, ed. 1785, Lugd. Batav. See also Vorstius, De Heb. N. T. p. 91; Pars Altera, p. 91, ed. 1705, Lipsiae. The Seventy now and then render by οὐ - οὐδείς , or simply οὐδείς . Compare Deuteronomy 8:9, Joshua 10:8; Joshua 23:9. It is especially when the negative precedes the article that the Hebraism occurs. Winer, § 26, 1. The πᾶσα σάρξ , equivalent to כָלאּחָי , is perhaps chosen in preference to the ζῶν of the Septuagint, as in the apostolic times, and so close on the life-giving work of Christ, ζωή with its associates was acquiring a new and higher meaning. Πᾶσα σάρξ is all humanity-the race without exception,- Luke 3:6; John 17:2; Acts 2:17; 1 Peter 1:24,-representing in the Septuagint כָלאּבָּשָׂר , there being apparently in the phrase no accessory notion of frailty, or sin, or death (Beza, Schrader). It means, however, man as he is, though not insinuating his inability in naturâ adfectibus et cupiditatibus sensuum obnoxia (Schott); nor does it carry any allusion to the overweening estimate placed by the Jews on their fleshly descent from Abraham (Windischmann). The future δικαιωθήσεται , as the ethical future, affirms possibility under the aspect of futurity, and with the negative particle denotes “something that neither can or will happen.” Webster, Syntax of the New Testament, p. 84. It thus expresses a general truth which shall ever continue in force- quae omnino non fiunt, et ne fieri quidem possunt. Thiersch, de Pentat. p. 160. The future contains no allusion to a coming day of reckoning (Hofmann); nor is there any such allusion in the psalm, for the phrase “enter not into judgment with Thy servant” refers to present divine inquisition or trial. Peile, p. 238. The apostle in the clause bases his reasoning upon an assertion of the Old Testament familiar to Peter and to his Jewish auditors. The quotation is more than “an axiom in our theology” (Alford), and it is not a mere repetition of what is found in the first clause of the verse, but it is an authoritative confirmation of the major premiss of the argument. Usteri, Lehr-begr. p. 90; Messner, Die Lehre der Apostel, p. 219.
Galatians 2:17. Εἰ δὲ ζητοῦντες δικαιωθῆναι ἐν Χριστῷ εὑρέθημεν ἁμαρτωλοί , ἆρα Χριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος ; μὴ γένοιτο “But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we were found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? God forbid.” Of this difficult verse various interpretations have been given.
The verse plainly takes up an assumption, and reduces it to an absurdity. Theodoret says at the conclusion of his remarks on the previous verse, εἶτα συλλογίζεται τὰ εἰρημένα . “But if, in accordance with these premises of thine, or assuming the truth of these thy retrogressive principles” (Ellicott). The apostle had said, “we believed into Christ,” ἵνα , with this end in view-justification; and he now uses ζητοῦντες , describing the action in unison with it, or which had been prompted by it. It is to be noted, that with the active participle he uses the aorist infinitive, which, though it cannot be expressed in English, “gives a momentary character to the action.” Jelf, § 405, 2. Not as if two justifications are spoken of-one enjoyed already, and another yet sought after” (Wieseler, Lipsius). The apostle throws himself back to an earlier period; and indeed some regard ζητοῦντες as an imperfect. He does not insinuate any doubts as to the reality of his justified state, but only represents the general attitude of an earnest soul-its uniform aspiration toward Christ and justification in Him; as it still feels its sins and shortcomings, still prays for a growing faith and an intenser consciousness of union with Him, and the possession of its blessed fruits. The phrase ἐν Χριστῷ has its usual meaning, “in Christ”-in union with Christ, and not “by Christ,” as in our Authorized Version, which follows Cranmer, Tyndale, and the Genevan. Wycliffe and the Rheims have, however, “in Christ.” The faith possessed by Peter and Paul, which had gone out of themselves and into Christ, εἰς , was the nexus of a living union- ἐν Χριστῷ . They were justified διὰ πίστεως , for it was the means, or ἐκ πίστεως , as it was the instrumental cause; but they were also justified ἐν Χ ., as only in such a union has faith any power, or divine grace any saving efficacy. The soul out of union with Christ is faithless, unforgiven, and lifeless. So that the relation indicated by ἐν Χ . differs from that indicated by διὰ Χ . The phrase “by Christ” may cover the whole extent of His work as Mediator; but ἐν Χ . narrows the meaning to the more special point of union with Him-the inner and only source of life. Wieseler, followed by Schmoller, wrongly takes the phrase to mean, the “ground, or Christ as causa meritoria. ” But the ἐν and διά are used with distinctive significance, as in Ephesians 1:7. See under it. The two prepositions cannot be so distinguished here, or in such an argument, as if the one pointed to a mere inquirer and the other to a professed member of Christ (Gwynne). In εὑρέθημεν lies a contrast to ζητοῦντες : “if while seeking,” or, “if after all our seeking, we ourselves also were found to be sinners.” The verb εὑρίσκω has been often regarded as a periphrasis of the subjunctive verb- idem est ac εἶναι . Kypke, Observat. i. p. 2. Even Gataker makes it a Hebraism- γενόμενος et εὑρεθείς idem valent. Antonin. Med. p. 329, ed. London 1697. By this dilution of meaning the point and force of the verb are taken away. Not only the Greek verb, but the נִמצָא of the Hebrew idiom also, keeps its proper meaning (2 Chronicles 36:8; Malachi 2:6), and denotes not simply the existence of anything, but that existence recognised or discovered. Matthew 1:18; Luke 17:18; Romans 7:10. Soph. Trach. 411; Ajax, 1135; Winer, § 65, 8. The aorist refers to a point of time past; that is to say, “but if, while seeking justification in Christ, we too were found to be, or turned out to be” (perhaps with the idea of surprise, Lightfoot), or “after all,” ἁμαρτωλοί . It is surely requisite that this word be taken in the sense which it has in Galatians 2:15 “sinners” as the Gentiles were regarded from the Jewish point of view, because not living in subjection to the Jewish law.
The particle which begins the next clause may be accented ἄρα or ἆρα . ῎Αρα - ῥα has in it, according to Donaldson, the idea of distance or progression in an argument, and may involve the idea that the existing state of things is at variance with our previous expectations “so then,” or “as it seems.” Cratylus, pp. 364, 365. In Attic usage it indicates both direct and oblique allusions, the idea of surprise being sometimes implied; or, as Stallbaum defines it, Eam habet vim ut aliquid praeter opinionem accidere, significet; also, doch. Plato, Republ. 375 D; Apolog. 34 E. It does not usually stand first in the sentence among classical writers, nay, sometimes is placed at the end. Herod. 3.64; Xen. Hell. 7.1, 32. Hermann says, ἄρα συλλογιστικόν in initio poni non potest: Antig. 628. But in the New Testament it stands first. Matthew 12:28; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 2:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Klotz-Devarius, 2.160, 1. Some take it here as the conclusive ἄρα . As Chrysostom says, εἶδες εἰς ὅσην ἀνάγκην περιέστησεν ἀτοπίας τὸν λόγον . More fully his argument is: “If faith in Him does not avail for our justification, but if it be necessary to embrace the law again; and if, having forsaken the law for Christ's sake, we are not justified, but condemned for this abandonment; then shall we find Him for whose sake we abandoned the law the Author of our condemnation.” This opinion changes, however, the meaning of ἁμαρτωλοί into κατακρινομένοι . Theodoret gives the same view, but more distinctly: εἰ δὲ ὅτι τὸν νόμον καταλιπόντες τῷ Χριστῷ προσεληλύθαμεν διὰ τῆς ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸν πίστεως ἀπολαύσασθαι προσδοκήσαντες , παράβασις τοῦτο νενόμισται , εἰς αὐτὸν ἡ αἰτία χωρήσει τὸν δεσπότην Χριστόν . In this case the apostle is supposed either to take up the objection of a Judaizer thus put: “To forsake the law in order to be justified, is to commit sin; and to make this change or commit this sin under the authority of Christ, is to make Christ the minister of sin,-a supposition not to be entertained; therefore it is wrong to plead His sanction for renunciation of law.” Or the statement may be the apostle's own argument: “It cannot be a sinful thing to abandon the law, for such abandonment is necessary to justification; and if it were a sinful thing to pass over from the law to faith, it would thus and therefore make Christ the minister of sin: but far from our thoughts be such a conclusion.” So generally Koppe, Flatt, Winer, Borger, Schott, and many others.
2. But ἄρα is supposed by some to put a question; and it needs not with this meaning to be changed into ἆρα , because it introduces an unauthorized conclusion rebutted by μὴ γένοιτο (Hofmann, Wieseler). It is better, however, to take the particle as ἆρα . True, indeed, in the other places where it occurs, Luke 18:8, Acts 8:30, it introduces a question to be followed by a negative answer; but here, from the nature of the case, an affirmative-that is, on the principle admitted-but virtually a negative, which μὴ γένοιτο thunders out. On the other hand, it may be said, that in Paul's epistles μὴ γένοιτο occurs only after a question, and denies an inference false in itself but drawn from premises taken for granted, as is pointed out by the indicative εὑρέθημεν . The ἆρα expresses a perplexity, so natural and striking in the circumstances. It hesitates in putting the question, and has a shade of irony in it. Are we then, pray, to conclude that Christ is the minister of sin? Simplex ἆρα aliquid sive verae sive fictae dubitationis admiscet. Stallb. Plato, De Repub. 566 A. It does not necessarily stand for ἀῤ οὐ , nonne (Olshausen, Schott), which prepares for an affirmative reply. Jelf, § 873, 2; Hermann, ad Viger. 823. Unde fit, ut ubi ἆρα pro ἆῤ οὔ dictum videatur orationi saepe color quidam ironiae admisceatur. Kühner, Xen. Mem. 2.6, 1, p. 244. The general meaning then is: But if we, seeking to be justified, are found to be sinners; if we, having renounced the law as the ground of justification, have placed ourselves on a level with the heathen who are sinners from our point of view; is it to be inferred, pray- ἆρα , ergone -that Christ is a minister of sin? Ellicott and Lightfoot find an irony in ἁμαρτωλοί : We look down upon the Gentiles as sinners, and yet, in order to be justified, we must put ourselves on a level with them. Our possession of the law as born Jews gives us no element of justification; we renounce it, and thus become as Gentile sinners who never had it. Is Christ in that case, in whom alone justification is to be sought without works of law, a minister of sin? The lesson given by Peter's dissimulation in reverting to legal observance was, that renunciation of legal observance had been wrong. But the renunciation had been made under the authority of Christ; so that you, and they who hold with you, must be prepared to affirm that Christ, necessitating such renunciation, is a minister of sin.
The expositors who attach a different sense to ἁμαρτωλοί in this verse from what it plainly bears in Galatians 2:15, bring out forms of exegesis which do not harmonize with the apostle's reasoning, or with the special circumstances in which he was placed.
1. A common exegesis among the older interpreters generally, as Paraeus, Wesseling, etc., and recently Twele, Webster and Wilkinson in their New Testament, has been this: If men seeking or professing to seek justification in Christ are yet found living in sin, is Christ to blame for such an abuse of His gospel? Galatians 6:1. It is a monstrous inference to teach, that “to dispense with works of law in regard to justification is to allow men to continue in sin.” But surely this exegesis does not follow out the apostle's train of thought. It is not the abuse of the doctrine of faith or fides sola at all, but the virtual denial of its sole efficacy, that the apostle is reprehending in this verse.
2. Others, as Calovius, Locke, Zschokke, Haldane, bring out this idea: If while seeking to be justified in Christ, we are yet found sinners or unjustified; if His work alone cannot justify, but must have legal observance added to it; then Christ after all leaves us sinners under condemnation. As Dr. Brown remarks, the inference in such a case would be, not, Christ is the servant of sin, but, Christ's expiation has been incomplete. This exegesis does not suit the context, nor is it fairly deducible from the words.
3. The same objection may be made to Calvin's notion: “If justification by faith puts Jews and Gentiles on a level, and if Jews, ‘sanctified from the womb,’ are guilty and polluted, shall we say that Christ makes sin powerful in His own people, and that He is therefore the Author of sin? He who discovers the sin which lay concealed is not therefore the minister of sin.” Compare Piscator and Wordsworth. This, however, is not by any means the point in dispute to which the apostle is addressing himself.
4. Nor better is the supposition of Grotius, that the apostle has in his eye the flagitious lives of Judaizers, though he puts it in the first person: The inference that Christ is the minister of sin, will be gathered from our conduct, unless it far excel the life both of Gentiles and Judaizers.
5. The opinion of Macknight needs scarcely be noticed: “If we practise the rites of the Mosaic law contrary to our conscience, will Christ promote such iniquity by justifying teachers who delude others in a matter of such importance?”
6. Olshausen's view of the last clause is as objectionable, for it overlooks the special moments of the verse: “If justification depends on the law, while Christ ordains the preaching of faith for that purpose, then He is the minister of sin, as He points out a false method of salvation.”
7. The form in which Jowett puts the question changes the meaning of ἁμαρτωλοί : “If we too fall back under the law, is Christ the cause of this? Is He the author of that law which is the strength of sin, which reviving we die?” etc. This paraphrase introduces a new idea from the Epistle to the Romans; and it is not so much to the inner working of the law, as to its powerlessness to justify, that the apostle is here referring. The point before him suggested by Peter's inconsistency is rather the bearing of the law on our relation to God than on our character, though both are inseparably connected.
The phrase ἁμαρτίας διάκονος is a pregnant one (2 Corinthians 11:2), the first word being emphatic,-not a furtherer of lawlessness, as Morus, who gives ἁμαρτωλοί the meaning of lawless, or without law- gesetzlos,-and Rosenmüller, who sums it up, Christum esse doctorem paganismi!
The apostle protests against the inference-
Μὴ γένοιτο “God forbid”-let it not be; absit, Vulgate. The phrase is one of the several Septuagint translations of חָלִילָה , ad profana, sometimes joined to a pronoun of the first or second person, and sometimes to the name of God. The Seventy render it by μηδαμῶς or μὴ εἴη… ἵλεώς σοι occurs in Matthew 16:22; and the Syriac has חָס = propitius sit Deus. The phrase is not confined to the sacred writers, but is found abundantly in Arrian's Epictetus and in the same sense, but with a change of reference in Herodotus,5.111; Xen. Cyrop. 5.5, 5. It is used only by Paul among the writers of the New Testament: Romans 3:4; Romans 3:6; Romans 3:31; Romans 6:2; Romans 6:15; Romans 7:7; Romans 7:13; Romans 9:14; Romans 11:1; Romans 11:11; 1 Corinthians 6:15; Galatians 3:21; and with a difference in Galatians 6:14. It is spoken by the people in Luke 20:16. It is usually and suddenly interjected against an opponent's inference. “God forbid” that any one, for any reason or to any extent, from any misconception or on any pretext, should either imagine or suspect Christ to be a minister of sin; or should be involved in any course of conduct, the vindication of which might imply such an inference; or be entangled in any premisses which could lead by any possibility to such an awful conclusion. Perish the thought! Let it be flung from us as an abominable thing!
Galatians 2:18. Εἰ γὰρ ἃ κατέλυσα ταῦτα πάλιν οἰκοδομῶ , παραβάτην ἐμαυτὸν συνιστάνω “for if the things which I destroyed, these again I build up, I constitute myself a transgressor.” The συνίστημι of the Received Text rests only on the slender authority of D 3 , K, L.
This verse has a close connection with the preceding one. The γάρ , in spite of Wieseler's objection, is a confirmation of the μὴ γένοιτο , as in Romans 9:14; Romans 11:1. Why say I μὴ γένοιτο so sharply? the reason is, For if I set up again what I have pulled down, my rebuilding is a confession that the work of demolition was wrong. And if I claim the authority of Christ for both parts of the process, then I make possible an affirmative to the startling question, “Is He after all a minister of sin?” Nay, if I re-enact legal observances as indispensable to justification, after having maintained that justification is not of legal merit but of grace, my second work proves my sin in my first work. Or: Is Christ the minister of sin? God forbid; for in the renunciation of the law, and in the consequent finding of ourselves sinners in order to justification, there is no sin; but the sin lies in returning to the law again as the means or ground of acceptance, for such a return is an assertion of its perpetual authority. There is yet another and secondary contrast,-not so primary a contrast as Olshausen, Winer, Schott, and Wieseler would contend for, since ἐμαυτόν coming after παραβάτην has not the emphatic position: You, from your point of view toward us who have forsaken the law and only believe in Christ to justification, find us sinners- ἁμαρτωλοί , and would implicate Christ; but in rebuilding what I destroyed, it is not Christ who is to blame, but myself I show to be a transgressor. Or: You Judaists regard as ἁμαρτωλοί all non-observers of the law, yet this non-observance is sanctioned by Christ; but would you dare to impeach Him as the promoter of anything that may really be called ἁμαρτια ? No, far from us be the thought! But a direct παράβασις must be charged on him who, like Peter, sets up in Galatia what at Caesarea and at Antioch he had cast down so firmly, and that as the result of a supernatural vision and lesson. The structure of the verse, which prevents it from being well rendered into English, is emphatic: ἃ . . . ταῦτα . The change to the first person was probably clementiae causâ-mitigandi vituperii causâ (Jaspis),-for it might well have been- σύ . The figure is a common one with the apostle, as in Romans 15:20; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:23; Ephesians 2:20. The tropical use of καταλύω , to loosen down, is common in the New Testament, as applied to νόμος , Matthew 5:17, and ἔργον , Acts 5:38-39, Romans 14:20. The apostle utters a general principle, though the intended application is to the Mosaic law. There is a distinct emphasis on ταῦτα : “these, and nothing else than these,”-a rebuilding of the identical materials I had cast down. The verb οἰκοδομέω in the present tense is suggested by the general form of a maxim which the verse assumes, while it also glances at Peter's actual conduct. The rarer form συνιστάνω , not different in meaning from the other form συνίστημι , signifies “I prove, or am proving,” not commendo (Schott). Hesychius defines it by ἐπαινεῖν , φανεροῦν , βεβαιοῦν , παρατιθέναι . The true meaning comes- e componendi significatione: Romans 3:5; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 6:4; Sept. Susan. 61; Jos. Antiq. 2.7, 1; and as here with a double accusative it occurs in Philo, συνίστησιν αὐτὸν φροφήτην , Quis rer. div. Haer. p. 114, vol. iv. ed. Pfeiffer; and in Diodor. Sic. 13.91, συνιστὰς αὐτοὺς οἰκείους , vol. 1 Peter 2:0, p. 779, ed. Dindorf, Lipsiae 1828. Bengel's notion of a mimêsis, and Schott's of irony, in the selection or use of the verb, are far-fetched and groundless. Παραβάτης is a transgressor, to wit, of the law,-a more specific form than ἁμαρτωλός , for it seems to imply violation of direct law: Romans 2:25; Romans 2:27; Romans 4:15; James 2:9; James 2:11.
But what law is referred to? It cannot be the law of faith or of the gospel (Koppe, Matthies); but it is the Mosaic law itself. For Peter was guilty of notorious inconsistency in preaching the abrogation of legal observance, and then in reenacting it in his conduct; and specially, that conduct was a confession that he had transgressed in overthrowing the law. So Borger, Usteri, Hilgenfeld, De Wette, and Ewald. Alford takes the phrase as the explanation of ἁμαρτωλοὶ εὑρέθημεν “found sinners,” that is, in setting aside the law. Various modifications of this view have been given. Pelagius places the παράβασις specially in this, that Peter was confessing himself meae sententiae praevaricator; Morus, in that by his inconsistency he was showing himself to be one, qui non observat officium doctoris. Hammond takes the noun to signify an apostate. Wieseler understands the verse in a general sense as enforcing the connection of justification and sanctification,-sin being an actual rebuilding of what in justification had been thrown down; an opinion which Schmoller is justified in calling ein starkes Exempel dogmatisirender Exegese. Hofmann, too, gives a peculiar view: The sinner, to be justified, must acknowledge himself guilty of a violation of law; and such a confession shows himself and not Christ the servant of sin-his very attempt to obtain righteousness in Christ is an acknowledgment of transgression. But these opinions are aside from the context. Bagge's view is too vague: “If a justified man seek justification by law, he again binds himself to the law, and thus declares himself a transgressor.” So is that of Rollock: Ego sum transgressor quoniam reaedifico peccatum, quod per fidem in Christum, quoad reatum et maculam destruere desideravi. Similarly Webster and Wilkinson. The apostle's general argument is, there was no sin in declaring against the validity of legal observance in order to faith in Christ, who is “the end of the law;” this emancipation was only obedience to Christ, and He cannot be the minister of sin. Men, Jews especially, renouncing the law as a ground of justification, will find themselves sinners from their previous point of view, and Christ is not to be blamed. But this renunciation of law must be sin to all who, now regarding themselves as having been in a false position, not only recoil from it, but go back to the old Judaic ordinances, and seek acceptance through subjection to them. Abrogation and re-enactment cannot both be right.
But there lies a deeper reason which the apostle now proceeds to develop. This deeper reason it might be difficult to trace in this verse by itself, but the γάρ of the next verse brings it out. It is also recognised by the Greek expositors; and it is this, that the law itself was leading on to faith in Christ. From its very form and aspects it taught its own typical and temporary character,-that it was an intermediate system, preparing for Christ and showing the way to Him; and in serving such a purpose it indicated its own supersession. But if, after Christ has come, you re-enact it, you not only confess that you were wrong in holding it to be abrogated, but you also prove yourself a transgressor of its inner principles and a contravener of its spirit and purpose; for the next words are, ἐγὼ γὰρ διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον . Chrysostom gave as the meaning: “The law has taught me not to obey itself; and therefore if I do so, I shall be transgressing even its teaching.” Theophylact explains, ὁ νόμος με ὡδήγησε πρὸς τὴν πίστιν καὶ ἔπεισεν ἀφεῖναι αὐτόν .
The objection of Alford to this view is, as Ellicott remarks, “of no real force.” The Dean says, “The ἐγώ of the illustration has given up faith in Christ, and so cannot be regarded as acknowledging it as the end of the law.” The Bishop truly replies, that “the ἐγώ had not given up faith in Christ, but had only added to it.” Peter certainly had not renounced faith in Christ, but he had given occasion for others to suppose that he regarded legal observance to be either the essential complement of faith or an indispensable supplement to it. His view of the relation of the law to faith may not even have been obscured, for his inconsistency was dissimulation. How the law was transgressed, if re-enacted either to compete with faith or give it validity, the apostle proceeds to show:
Galatians 2:19. ᾿Εγὼ γὰρ διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον “for I through the law died to the law.” Διὰ νόμου cannot mean “on account of the law.” The γάρ has its full force: If I build up that law which I pulled down, I prove myself a transgressor of it, for by it I became dead to it; or as Lightfoot happily expresses it, “In abandoning the law, I did but follow the leading of the law itself.” The position and expression of ἐγώ are alike emphatic “I for my part;” it being the revelation of his own experience. The ἐγώ is not merely representative in its nature, as is held by Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Kamphausen, and Wieseler who understands it von Paulus und seinen judenchristlichen Gesinnungsgenossen. This is true as an inference. But Paul's personal experience had been so profound and decided, and had so moulded the entire course of his life, that it may certainly isolate him from other believing Jews,-even from those who could trace in themselves a similar change,-even, in a word, from Peter, whose momentary reaction had challenged this discussion. So far as the result is concerned, the experience of believers generally is pictured out; but the apostle puts himself into prominence. The experience of others, while it might approximate his, could never reach a perfect identity with it in depth and suddenness. That both words, νόμου νόμῳ , should by necessity refer to the same law, has not been universally admitted. The genitive has been referred by very many to the law of the gospel,-such as Jerome, Ambrosiast., Erasmus, Luther, Calovius, Hunnius, Vatablus, Vorstius, Bengel, Koppe, Morus, and Borger. It is also an alternative explanation of the Greek fathers and Pelagius. Küttner quietly says, Intellige πίστεως quod omisit ut elegantior et acutior fieret sententia.
But this signification cannot be received as even plausible. It is true that νόμος is a term occasionally applied to the gospel, but some characterizing element is added,-as πίστεως , Romans 3:27; τ . πνεύματος τ . ζωῆς , Romans 8:2; δικαιοσύνης , Romans 9:31; Justin Mart. Dial. cum Tryph. p. 157, ed. Thirlby. The word can bear here no meaning but the law of Moses, the law of God embodied in the Jewish economy. The Mosaic law is the point of dispute, the only divine law known to the speaker and his audience. The article is not necessary. The want of the article in some clauses, even when the reference is to Mosaic system, may express to some extent the abstract idea of law, but it is ever divine law as exemplified or embodied in the Jewish economy. See pp. 163, 164.
How, then, did the law become the instrument of the apostle's dying to itself,-for διὰ νόμου has the stress upon it? How through the instrumentality of the law was he released from obligation to law; or, more briefly, How did the law free him from itself?
1. Some find this power in the outspeaking of the law as to its own helplessness to justify. Thus Winer: Lex legem sustulit, ipsa lex cum non posset mihi salutem impertire mei me juris fecit atque a suo imperio liberavit. Similarly Olshausen, Matthies, Hilgenfeld, and Matthias. But this statement does not contain the whole truth.
2. Some ascribe to the law the peculiar function of a παιδαγωγός . Thus Beza: Lex enim terroris conscientiam ad Christum adducit. So Calvin, Schott, Bagge, Trana, and virtually Lightfoot. But surely this abandonment of the law forced upon sinners by its terrors does not amount to the profound change described in the very significant phrase τῷ νόμῳ ἀπέθανον .
3. Some refer this instrumental power to the Messianic deliverances of the law, as Genesis 15:6, explained in Romans 3:21, or Deuteronomy 18:18 - Διὰ τε τῶν Μωσαϊκῶν λόγων καὶ τῶν προφητικῶν , Theophylact. Theodoret, Hammond, Estius, Wetstein, and Baumgarten-Crusius. It is also an alternative explanation of OEcumenius, Pelagius, Augustine, Crocius, and Grotius. But the written law would be ὁ νόμος , and it did not as such embrace the prophets by whom those utterances were most fully and vividly given. Besides, as Lightfoot remarks, “such an appeal” based on type and prophecy would be “an appeal rather to the reason and intellect than to the heart and conscience.” The apostle's words are indeed an argument,-one not based however on written external coincidences or propaideutic and typical foreshowings, but drawn from the depths of his spiritual nature. Marian. Victor. puts it peculiarly: Ego enim per legem, quae nunc spiritualiter intelligitur legi mortuus sum, illi scilicet legi quae carnaliter intelligebatur.
But to aid inquiry into the meaning of διὰ νόμου , the meaning of νόμῳ ἀπέθανον must be first examined. The noun is a kind of dativus commodi as it is called. Such a dative is found with this verb Romans 6:2; Romans 6:10; Romans 7:4; Romans 14:7. To die to the law, is to die as the law demands-to bear its penalty, and therefore to be no longer under its curse and claim. In Romans 7:4 the apostle says, “The law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth;” but that dominion over him ceases at his death. This is a general principle; and for the sake of illustration he adds, that the γυνὴ ὕπανδρος dies to the law of marriage in her husband's death, and therefore may “marry another.” So believers died to the law in the death of Christ- ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ διὰ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ . They were freed from the law ( κατηργήθημεν , nullified), and so are discharged from it. The common reading ἀποθανόντος in Romans 7:6 is to be rejected “that being dead in which we were held;” for the true reading is ἀποθανόντες “we having died to that ἐν ᾧ κατειχόμεθα -in which we were held bound,” and so we are freed from it. But how can a man die by the law to the law and be relieved from its curse? The apostle explains in the following verse-
Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι “I have been crucified with Christ.” Wondrous words! I am so identified with Him, that His death is my death. When He was crucified, I was crucified with Him. I am so much one with Him under law and in suffering and death, that when He died to the law I died to the law. Through this union with Him I satisfied the law, yielded to it the obedience which it claimed, suffered its curse, died to it, and am therefore now released from it-from its accusations and its penalty, and from its claim on me to obey it as the means of winning eternal life. By means of law He died; it took Him and wrought its will on Him. As our Representative in whom we were chosen and in whom we suffered, He yielded Himself to the law, which seized Him and nailed Him to the cross. When that law seized Him, it seized at the same time all His in Him, and through the law they suffered and died to it. Thus it is that by the law taking action upon them as sinners they died to the law. This is the view generally of Meyer, Ellicott, Alford, and Gwynne. At the same time, the passage is not parallel to the latter portion of the seventh chapter of Romans; for there the apostle shows the powerlessness of the law to sanctify as well as to justify. Yet the law is not in itself to blame, for it is “holy, and just, and good;” and it has its own functions-to reveal sin in the conscience, to irritate it into activity, and to show its true nature as being “exceeding sinful.” When sin revives, the sinner dies-not the death referred to in the passage before us, but spiritual death and misery. And now certainly, if the law, avenging itself on our guilt, has in this way wrought our release from itself-has set us for ever free from its yoke, and we have died to it and have done with it; then he who would re-enact legalism and bring men under it, proves himself its transgressor, nay, opposes its deepest principles and its most gracious design. See Usteri, Paulin. Lehrb. p. 171, 5th ed.
But release from law is not lawlessness. We die to sin as well as to the law which is “the strength of sin,”-and “Christ died unto sin once.” But death to the law is followed by life to God as its grand purpose:
῞Ινα Θεῷ ζήσω “that I might live to God,” even as Christ “liveth unto God.” Life in a high spiritual form succeeds that death to the law-life originated and fostered by the Spirit of God-the life of faith-the true life of the soul or Christ living in it. The dative Θεῷ is opposed to νόμῳ , and with the same meaning. The verb ζήσω is the subjunctive aorist (Winer, 41, p. 257), in keeping with the historical tense of the principal sentence. The phrase ζῆν τινι , vivere alicui, is common: ἑαυτῷ ζῆν , opposed to τῷ κυριῷ ζῶμεν , Romans 14:7; ἐμαυτῷ ζῆν , Euripides, Ion, 646; Φιλίππῳ ζῶντες , Demosth. Philip. Epist. vol. i. p. 100, ed. Schaefer; τῷ πατρὶ ζῶντες , Dion. Halicar. Galatians 3:17, vol. i. p. 235, ed. Kiessling, 1860; τοῦτ᾿ ἐστι τὸ ζῆν οὐχ ἑαυτῷ ζῇν μόνον , Menander in Philadelpho, Stobaeus, Flor. 121, 5, ed. Gaisford; αἰσχρὸν γὰρ ζῆν μόνοις ἑαυτοῖς , Plutarch, Ag. et Cleom. Opera, vol. iv. p. 128, ed. Bekker; ζῶσιν τῷ Θεῷ , 1Ma 16:25 ; Θεῷ μόνῳ ζῆσαι , Philo, de Nom. Mut. p. 412, Op. vol. iv. ed. Pfeiffer; ζῆσαι Θεῷ μᾶλλον ἢ ἑαυτῷ , Quis rer. Div. do. p. 50; non sibi soli vivere, Ter. Eun. 3.2, 27; mihi vivam, Hor. Ep 18:107; vive tibi, vive tibi, Ovid, Tr. 3.4, 4. These current phrases were therefore well understood. To live to one's self is to make self the one study-to bend all thoughts, acts, and purposes on self as the sole end; so that the inquiry, how shall this or that tell upon self either immediately or more remotely, deepens into a species of unconscious instinct. To live to God is to be in Him-in union with Him, and to feel the assimilating influence of this divine fellowship-to give Him the first place in the soul, and to put all its powers at His sovereign disposal-to consult Him in everything, and to be ever guided by His counsel-to do His will, because it is His will, at all times-to regard every step in its bearing on His claims and service, and to further His glory as the one grand end of our lives. Such is the ideal in its holy and blessed fulness. Alas, how seldom can it be realized! Such a life must be preceded by this death to the law through the law, for the legal spirit is one of bondage, failure, and unhappiness,-works done in obedience to law to ward off its penalty, with the consciousness that all the while the perfect fulfilment of the law is impossible,-God being viewed as the lawgiver and judge in their sterner aspects, and not in His grace, so as to win our confidence and our unreserved consecration. The clause is connected with the one before it, and not with the following one.
Galatians 2:20. Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι “I have been crucified with Christ.” The meaning of the words has been already considered-the wondrous identity of the saint with his Saviour. See under Philippians 3:9-11. Compare Romans 6:4; Romans 6:8; Romans 8:17; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:12; Colossians 2:20; 2 Timothy 2:11. Lightfoot errs in giving it a different meaning from νόμῳ ἀπέθανον , of which it is the explanation, as if the one were release from past obligation, and this were the annihilation of old sins. For the allusion here is not to the crucifixion of the old man as in Galatians 5:24 (Ambros., Grotius),-the image of spiritual change, self-denial, and “newness of life.” The apostle is describing how death to the law and release from legal bondage were brought about. Some connect the clause ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω with the one before it “in order that I may live to God, I am crucified with Christ” (Chrysostom, Cajetan, Calvin). But the position of ἵνα , and the contrast of ἀπέθανον and ζήσω , show that the first clause is a portion of what is introduced by γάρ . The punctuation of the following clauses has been variously attempted. In one way the arrangement is-
Ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ· ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ Χριστός “but it is no longer I that live, but it is Christ that liveth in me;” or, “I live however no longer myself, Christ however liveth in me.” It has been common, on the other hand, to put a point after the first δέ , as in our version “nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;” and so Bagge, Gwynne, Scholz, Luther, Morus, etc. As Alford remarks, however, that punctuation would require ἀλλά before οὐκέτι in such a negative assertion. It is difficult, indeed, to translate the clauses; but that is rather in favour of the idiomatic structure which the newer punctuation brings out. Still, under the older punctuation there is something like the Pauline antithesis, ἐκοπίασα· οὐκ ἐγὼ δέ , 1Co 15:10 ; 2 Corinthians 6:8-10. But here the phrase “I am crucified with Christ” is a kind of parenthetical explanation suddenly inserted; and the ζῶ δέ , therefore, is not in contrast with it, as the older punctuation supposes, but goes back to the previous clause- Θεῷ ζήσω .
The ζῶ . . . ζῇ have the emphatic place-the idea of life after such death fills the apostle's thoughts: “living, however, no longer am I; living, however, in me is Christ.” The first δέ has its proper force, referring to ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω : “That I may live to God;” but “it is not I that live.” I have said “I,” but it is not I. It is something more than the fortschreitendes δέ (De Wette, Rückert). This ἐγώ is my old self-what lived in legalism prior to my being crucified with Christ; it lives no longer. The principle of the old life in legalism has passed away, and a new life is implanted within me. Or, When I speak of my living, “I do not mean myself or my natural being;” for a change as complete is spoken of as if it had sundered his identity. The explanation of the paradox is-this new life was not himself or his own, but it was Christ living in him. His life to God was no natural principle-no vital element self-originated or self-developed within him;-it sprang out of that previous death with His Lord in whom also he had risen again; nay, Christ had not only claimed him as His purchase and taken possession of him, but had also entered into him,-had not only kindled life within him, but was that Life Himself. When the old prophet wrought a miracle in restoring the dead child by stretching himself upon it so exactly that corresponding organs were brought into contact, the youth was resuscitated as if from the magnetic influences of the riper and stronger life, but the connection then terminated. Christ, on the other hand, not only gives the life, but He is the life-not as mere source, or as the communicator of vitalizing influence, but He lives Himself as the life of His people; for he adds-
Ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ Χριστός . There are idiomatic reasons for the insertion of this second δέ , for it marks the emphatic repetition of the same verb. The idiom is a common one.
ἥσθην δὲ βιαιὰ , πάνυ δὲ βιαιά .-Aristophanes, Acharn. 5.2.
καλῶ δὲ τάσδε δαίμονας καλῶ δ᾿ ῎Αρη .-Soph. OEdip. Col. 1391.
πολλὰ δὲ σῦκη πολὺ δ᾿ ἔλαιον , Xen. Cyrop. 2.22. Many other examples are given in Hartung, i. p. 168; Klotz-Devarius, 2.359, who adds, significatio non mutatur etiam tum, cum in ejusdam rei aut notionis repetitione ponitur; Kühner, Xen. Mem. 1.1; Dindorf, Steph. Thes. ii. p. 928. That is to say, δέ is not wholly adversative; but it introduces a new, yet not quite a different thought- similis notio quodam modo opponitur. Living is the emphatic theme of both clauses; the contrast is between ἐγώ and Χριστός in relation to this life; the one clause does not contradict or subvert the other, but the last brings out a new aspect under which this life is contemplated.
The utterance is not, as might be expected, I live in Christ; but, “Christ liveth in me.” Some, as Riccaltoun and Olshausen tell us, take this expression “for a mere metaphor” or “a mere oriental figure,” or if not, “for cant and unintelligible jargon;” while others, as Olshausen also informs us, base a species of pantheism upon it- ein Verschwimmen ins allgemeine Meer der Gottheit. But Christ-life in us is a blessed fact, realized by profound consciousness; and the personality is not merged, it is rather elevated and more fully individualized by being seized and filled with a higher vitality, as the following clauses describe. What a sad interpretation of Semler, that “Christ” in this clause means illa perfectior doctrina Christi!
῝Ο δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί “but the life which I am now living in the flesh,” the stress lying on νῦν . The δέ is used as in the first of the two previous clauses, and it rebuts an objection suggested by the words νῦν - ἐν σαρκί . The νῦν , glancing back to οὐκέτι , has been supposed to allude to the apostle's unconverted state: my present life dating from my conversion; as Alford, Meyer, Wieseler, Trana. Others take it to be in contrast to the future state, as Rückert, Usteri, Schott, Bisping: my present life, my life now in contrast with what it shall be, is a life of faith; Meyer adding, though he adopts the previous interpretation, that Paul expected at the second coming to be among the living who shall only be changed. The idea of Chrysostom, followed by Ellicott, comes nearer to our mind, that νῦν characterizes simply his life as a present one, life in the flesh- haec vita mea terrestris. The words ἐν σαρκί would be all but superfluous if a contrast with his former unbelieving state were intended, for he lived ἐν σαρκί then as now. As for the construction, it is needless with Winer to fill it out as quod vero ad id attinet, or καθ᾿ ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ , the alternative and preferred explanation in his Gram. § 24, 4, 3. Here ὅ is simply the accusative to the verb ζῶ (Bernhardy, p. 297); not precisely, as Ellicott resolves it, τὴν δὲ ζῶην ἣν νῦν ζῶ , for ὅ limits and qualifies the idea of life, as is more fully seen in Romans 6:10. See Fritzsche in loc. The implied repetition of the noun in connection with its own verb is common. Bernhardy, p. 106. The ἐν σαρκί , in this body of flesh, is not carnaliter or κατὰ σάρκα ; there is no ethical implication in the term; it merely describes the external character of his present life. My present life-so true, so blessed, and so characterized by me-is a life in the flesh. Granted that it is still a life in the flesh, yet it is in its highest aspect a life of faith. This idea or objection suggested the δέ , which is simply explicative, and is more than nämlich, to wit (Meyer): “but what I now,” “or so far as I now live in the flesh.” “I live indeed in the flesh, but not through the flesh, or according to the flesh” (Luther), for the believer's life externally resembles that of the world around him. Thus Tertullian, in vindication against the charge of social uselessness: Quo pacto homines vobiscum degentes, ejusdem victûs, habitûs, instinctûs, ejusdem ad vitam necessitatis? Neque enim Brachmanae, aut Indorum gymnosophistae sumus, sylvicolae et exules vitae. Meminimus gratiam nos debere Deo Domino creatori, nullum fructum operum ejus repudiamus, plane temperamus, ne ultra modum aut perperam utamur. Itaque non sine foro, non sine macello, non sine balneis, tabernis, officinis, stabulis, nundinis vestris caeterisque commerciis, cohabitamus in hoc seculo; navigamus et nos vobiscum et militamus, et rusticamur et mercatus proinde miscemus, artes, opera nostra publicamus usui vestro.-Apologet. cap. 42, vol. i. p. 273, ed. OEhler. While his life was in this visible sense an earthly one, it was characterized at the same time by a higher principle-
᾿Εν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ “I live in the faith of the Son of God;” or, “in faith,” to wit, “the faith of the Son of God.” Codex A omits ζῶ ; τῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ is read in B, D 1 , F, and is accepted by Lachmann; but the usual text is supported by A, C, D & sup2, 3;, K, L, א , and by many of the versions and fathers. It is difficult, indeed, to see how the other reading could have originated; unless, as Meyer supposes, υἱοῦ τοῦ had been omitted, and some other copyist, to bring the clause into harmony with what follows, added τοῦ Χριστοῦ .
He lived ἐν πίστει , “in the faith,” not by the faith, either as the simple dative, or as if it were διὰ πίστεως , though the Greek fathers, with Michaelis, Beza, Balduin, so render it; and our version has also “by the faith,” the only place where the phrase is so translated. ᾿Εν , indeed, with the dative has an instrumental sense; but here, while that is not wholly excluded, it falls into the background. Faith was the element in which he lived; his life was not only originated instrumentally by it, but it was also sustained in faith. A weak dilution of the phrase is given by Grotius, Sub spe vitae melioris, and by Koppe, who explains the clause by omne studium religionis Jesus. How odd is the notion of Vatablus, Propter fidem, i.e. ut fidem doceam!
This faith is held up or is particularized as τῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ . The article, as inserted at this point, gives it special prominence or moment “in faith, and that of the Son of God.” The genitive is that of object-faith resting on Christ, as in Galatians 2:16. And the name is chosen with fitting solemnity. It is as the Son of God that He has and gives life. John 5:25-26. Divine personality and equality with the Father are implied in the Blessed Name. Both names are specified by the article. See under Ephesians 1:3. That faith rested on no creature, but on God's own Son-so like Him as to be His “express image,” and so loved by Him as to be in His bosom. And what He has done for the apostle is stated in glowing terms-
Τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός με καὶ παραδόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ “who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” See under Galatians 1:4, and under Galatians 3:13. The καί is illustrative- et quidem, Winer, § 53, 3, c, though he warns correctly, that “this epexegetical force has been attributed to καί in too many passages.” The participles, emphatic in position, are aorists, referring the facts to the indefinite past; and they show how well warranted that faith was, by the relation which the Son of God bore to him, for He loved him with a love which none but He can feel-a love like Himself, and by the gift which He gave for him, and which none but He could give-Himself, the fruit of His love. Μέ , though repeated,-for it is still the same ἐγώ ,-has not a position of special prominence. But it shows the depth and individualizing nature of his faith; he particularizes himself: No matter who else were loved, He loved me; no matter for whom other He gave Himself, He gave Himself for me. Is it any wonder, then, that my life even now is a life of faith in Him, and no longer one in legal bondage? Paul had been many years in Christ ere he used this language of assurance. That assurance was unchanging. If the Son of God loved him, and so loved him that He gave Himself to death for him, and if his faith had been resting on that love crowned in His sacrifice, how could he think of disowning this divine Redeemer, slighting His love and disparaging His self-gift, by relapsing into legal observances and rebuilding what He had been so strenuously throwing down? His confidence in the Son of God, and the near and tender relation of the Son of God to him, made such retrogression impossible; for these elements of life were weightier than all arguments-were the soul of his experience, and identified with himself. He must deny himself and forget all his previous history, before he could turn his back on that cross where the Son of God proved the intensity and self-denying nature of His love for him in that atonement which needs neither repetition nor supplement. “Wilt thou bring thy cowl, thy shaven crown, thy chastity, thy obedience, thy poverty, thy works, thy merits? What shall those do?” (Luther.) To be faithless is to be lifeless, without union with Him who has life and imparts it. Faith rests on His ability and will as a divine Redeemer “the Son of God;” feels its warrant and welcome “He loved me;” and revels in the adapted and numerous blessings provided “He gave Himself for me.” These blessings are all summed up in “life,” as awaking it, fostering it, and crowning it, so that its receptive faculties are developed, and it pulsates healthfully and freshly in sympathetic unison with its blessed Source. Faith brings the soul into close and tender union with Him “who is our life,” keeps it in this fellowship, and creates within it a growing likeness to Him in the hope that it shall be with Him for ever. Faith gives Him a continuous influence over the conscience, writes His law on “the fleshly tables of the heart,” and enables the believer to realize His presence as his joy and power. In short, the new existence which springs from co-crucifixion with Christ, “lives, and moves, and has its being” in this faith of the Son of God. It is a lamentably superficial view which is taken by Rosenmüller of these clauses- ἐν πίστει , in religione Messiae excolenda et propaganda.
Prof. Jowett at this point makes an apparent assault on the common theology, because it does not follow the apostle's special order of thought in this place. “We begin,” he says, “with figures of speech-sacrifice, ransom, Lamb of God-and go on with logical determinations-finite, infinite, satisfaction, necessity in the nature of things. St. Paul also begins with figures of speech-life, death, the flesh; but passes on to the inward experience of the life of faith, and the consciousness of Christ dwelling in us.” But this use of the apostle's present form of argument is partial and one-sided. Prof. Jowett's accusation implies that “we” do not reason on these subjects in the apostle's order; and he institutes a needless comparison between theology and experience, between objective and subjective Christian truth. But it is surely quite possible to begin with such “figures” as those he refers to “sacrifice, ransom, Lamb of God”-and move on naturally to the other figures which more delight him, as “death, and death with Christ.” May not one-after referring to the fact that “Christ has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God,” to the “price” with which men “are bought,” and to “the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world,”-and these are realities of Scripture,-pass without any incongruity to the necessity of faith as a means of appropriation, to the inability of the law to justify, and to the blessed fact that the same law has no power to condemn believers-they being dead to it-while their faith originates a new life within them, of which Christ is the true vital element? Nay, might not a man put all this as the record of his own experience? Might not he say, Christ my “passover has been sacrificed” for me; I “have redemption through His blood;” I have been “redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot?” And what then should hinder him either to drop altogether the scholastic terms “finite, infinite, satisfaction,” or, making his own use of them as the inadequate symbols of momentous truth, to go on to vital union with the Life-giver, and that fellowship with Him in His death which emancipates from legal bondage and gives a community of life with the Son of God in whom faith ever rests. If it be common for divines to do as Prof. Jowett alleges, if it be their normal progress of argument, it is because they have some purpose in view which is different from that of the apostle in this report of his address to Peter. For, in referring to Christ's death in this paragraph, it was foreign to his purpose either to discuss or illustrate such aspects of it as the terms “finite, infinite, satisfaction, and necessity,” point to. Neither these words, nor any words like them, are ever used indeed by the apostle, for they had their rise chiefly in mediaeval times; but the ideas suggested by them, we will not say represented by them, are occasionally illustrated by him. His object, however, here is to connect the death of Christ subjectively with his own experience which shadows out that of all true believers, and he required not to consider its value, extent, or connection with the divine government. That is to say, the apostle does not himself follow a uniform order of thought on this central theme; and why should blame be insinuated against those who do not follow him in the special style of reasoning adopted here for a specific object and in personal vindication?
Finally, the apostle begins at a point more remote than that selected by Prof. Jowett, from which to start his depreciatory contrast. He commences with an objective declaration that justification is impossible by the works of the law, and that this blessing comes through faith as its instrument,-with an assertion that under this creed or conviction himself and Peter had renounced Judaism and had believed in Christ. But while Peter had recoiled and partially gone back to the law, he would not and could not go back to it, for he had died to the law. He did not need to fortify his position by argument; his own history was conscious and undeniable evidence. Unless, therefore, writers on theological science have a purpose identical with the apostle's before us, there is no reason why they should walk in his steps; nor, if they deviate, are they to be tacitly censured, for in such deviation they may be only following the apostle in some other section of his epistles. Let, then, these “logical determinations” be dismissed as not being scriptural terms, but only inferential conclusions, and not perhaps in all their metaphysical senses and uses warranted by Scripture; still, one may hold the scriptural ideas which by common understanding they are intended to symbolize, and may from them pass over, by closely connected steps and in the apostle's mode, to spiritual experience in its elevation and rapture. There is no occasion, then, to contrast the method which men may ordinarily adopt in the construction of creeds with the apostle's special and limited illustration in the present paragraph. The presentation of doctrine in its scientific aspects and relations is surely a warranted effort, and not incompatible with a living spiritual experience as the result of the truth accepted. A sound creed or Scripture teaching arranged and classified, and a true and earnest life acted on by faith and reacting on it, are not necessarily at opposite poles. Still it had been better if, in our treatises on divinity, it had been more deeply borne in mind- Pectus est quod theologum facit. The whole truth contained in an inspired utterance can never be fully expressed by any human dogma; but the divine and illimitable will always outstretch its precision and logic. Confessions of faith, however necessary and exact they may be, are only as cisterns; and no matter how skilfully and capaciously they are hewn out, the water from the living fountain will not be confined, but will always overflow them.
Galatians 2:21. Οὐκ ἀθετῶ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ “I do not frustrate the grace of God.” The verb, which is used first by Polybius, has various shades of meaning. As applied to persons, it means “to despise” or “reject.” Mark 6:26; Luke 7:30; Luke 10:16 four times; Joh 12:48 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; Sept. 1 Samuel 2:17. So Theodoret here has οὐκ ἀτιμάζω ; Grotius, non vilipendo; and the Vulgate, non abjicio. The definition of OEcumenius falls short of the full import: τὸ ἀπιστεῖν , τὸ ἐξευτελίζειν , τὸ διαπαίζειν . In a stronger sense it denotes “to cast off” or violate, such as νόμον , Hebrews 10:28, or one's faith, 1 Timothy 5:12; then it means “to annul or make void.” This last sense it has in the clause before us; as τὴν ἐντολήν , Mark 7:9; τὴν σύνεσιν , 1 Corinthians 1:19; Sept. 1Ma 15:27 ; Psalms 33:10; Polyb. 2.58, 5; Galatians 3:15. The sweeping conclusion δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν shows that this must be its meaning. The “grace of God” is not in a general sense the gospel, nor exactly the work of Christ (Gwynne), though that work was its proof and channel, as the last clause indicates; but His sovereign kindness manifested in the death of His Son, spontaneous on His part and wholly unmerited on ours. See Ephesians 2:4-9. The apostle's realization of identity with his Lord, dying with Him and rising with Him, his conscious possession of Christ as his life within him, and that life moving and being sustained in its element of faith in the Son of God,-all were proofs to him that he was not frustrating the grace of God. For he felt that the one source of justification was grace, and that the medium of it was grace embodied in the incarnate Son. In trusting in Christ, and in Him alone, he was magnifying the grace of God; while Peter, on the other hand, by his reactionary dissimulation, was in effect putting aside that grace. For if any one put faith in works, or revert to works, or in any way, either wholly or in part, give them place in justification, either as opposed to faith or as supplementing it,-if any one hope to merit what God so freely bestows, he frustrates the grace of God, regards it as void, or as an unneeded arrangement. For most surely-
Εἰ γὰρ διὰ νόμου δικαιοσύνη , ἄρα Χριστὸς δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν “for if through the law comes righteousness, then Christ died without cause.” Γάρ introduces strong confirmatory proof. The phrase διὰ νόμου , emphatic in position, is in contrast with Χριστός in the same position. Δικαιοσύνη is supposed by some to be the result of justification (Alford); by others, righteousness imputed and inherent (Ellicott); by others, the possession of δικαίωσις (Wieseler). Righteousness is that by which a man becomes right before God-that on his possession of which he is rightened or accepted as righteous in God's sight. Such a basis of justification may come through law, and be personal righteousness, but that is impossible for fallen man. The law which he has broken can only arraign him, convict him, and work his death; works of law can therefore in no sense justify him. Another provision has been made by God, and a righteousness wrought out by the obedience unto death of His Son, becomes his through faith. See under Philippians 3:9. It comes not διὰ νόμου , but διὰ πίστεως ; and law and faith are antagonistic instrumentalities. But if righteousness did come by the law, then there was no necessity for Christ's death. If man by works of law can justify himself, what need was there that Christ should die to provide for him what he can win for himsélf?
῎Αρα “then,” “after all”-standing first in the apodosis after the previous conditional sentence-then as an undoubted inference. Matthew 12:28; Luk 11:20 ; 1 Corinthians 15:18; Klotz-Devarius, ii. p. 160.
Δωρεάν does not mean “in vain,” frustra (Erasmus, Piscator), or μάτην (Theophylact), nor gratis, as often in classical use. Matthew 10:8; Romans 3:24. From this meaning, nulla praegressa causa, it comes to signify sine justa causa. Tittmann, Synon. 1.161, gives it as nulla erat causa moriendi. Sept. 1 Samuel 19:5, θανατῶσαι τὸν Δαυὶδ δωρεάν -rendered in our version “without a cause;” Psalms 34:7, δωρεὰν ἔκρυψαν “without cause they hid for me a net,” rendered by Symmachus ἀναιτίως , but followed by μάτην ὠνείδισαν ; נּם Ó ‡ חִבָךֵךנג used in both clauses. So Sir 20:23 , καὶ ἐκτήσατο αὐτὸν ἐχθρὸν δωρεάν “and made him his enemy for nothing;” John 15:25, ἐμίσησάν με δωρεάν “they hated me without a cause,”-quoted from Psalms 34:19, οἱ μισοῦντές με δωρεάν . Gesenius and Fürst, sub voce נּם Ó‡ חִ ָ If there can be righteousness through the law, Christ's death was uncalled for-was gratuitous; περιττὸς ὁ τ . Χ . θάνατος , Chrysostom. The sense is not, if works are necessary, Christ's death is ineffectual or in vain; but, if works can secure righteousness, Christ's death was needless. But Christ's death could not be needless, therefore righteousness comes not of the law; it is the purpose and result of the great atoning sacrifice. His theme is, I do not constitute myself a transgressor; the reason is given, “I do not frustrate the grace of God;” and then the proof contained in the last clause is added. The former declaration was connected with ἄρα (Galatians 2:17), and this similarly with the same particle-two conclusions alike absurd and impious, but to which the inconsistency of Peter assuredly led by necessary consequence.
What reply Peter made, or how his subsequent conduct at Antioch was shaped, we know not. Nor know we how the crisis ended-whether the believing Jews recovered their earlier freedom, or whether any compromise was brought about. Yet in spite of this misunderstanding and rebuke, evincing the superior consistency of one of the apostles, tradition, with the exception of the Clementines, has placed Peter and Paul on a similar level in many points. The Apostolical Constitutions (7:46) report Peter as saying, “Evadius was ordained bishop by me at Antioch, and Ignatius by Paul;” but whether simultaneously or in succession, cannot be ascertained. The same authority adds, that Paul ordained Linus the first bishop of Rome, and Peter Clement as the second bishop. Irenaeus says, again, that the church of Rome was founded a gloriosissimis duobus apostolis Petro et Paulo -a false assertion indeed, but showing what honour both apostles enjoyed. Contra Haeres. 3.3, 2; Opera, vol. i. p. 428, ed. Stieren. Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, as quoted by Eusebius (2:25), says, “Peter and Paul planted us at Corinth, and likewise instructed us.” And this is very much in the spirit of the Acts of the Apostles, where Peter is found vindicating free Pauline doctrine, and Paul goes into the temple to show that he “walked orderly,” while miracles similar in character are ascribed to each. We may hold this opinion without going the length of asserting that the “Acts” was written for the apologetic purpose of defending the apostolate of Paul, or of placing him on the same official standing as Peter. Baur, Schwegler, and Lutterbeck admit that, if judged by the first Epistle of Peter, there is no essential difference between the Pauline and Petrine doctrine. The original apostles are, indeed, found in the temple again and again after the ascension; but after what was agreed to by them at the council, they cannot be justly accused of Ebionitism. The address of Peter at the council pointed indeed at the free and untrammelled admission of Gentiles, while the modifications are proposed by James; but even these restrictions gave up circumcision-the initial rite, the necessity for submission to which had been so fanatically contended for,-and proposed only certain compliances with the national ritual, along with obedience to the law of chastity, for the breach of which Syrian idolatries and the Antiochene grove of Daphne afforded so many facilities and temptations. Still, that conformity to the Jewish ritual should prevail especially in Palestine, is scarcely to be wondered at. Eusebius enumerates fifteen bishops, “all of the circumcision,” who held office in Jerusalem prior to the last Jewish rebellion, the church being entirely made up of “believing Hebrews,” Histor. Ecclesiastes 4:5. Sulpicius Severus records: Namque tum Hierosolymae non nisi ex circumcisione habebat ecclesia sacerdotem . . . paene omnes Christum Deum sub legis observatione credebant. Chron. 2.31; Opera, vol. :36, ed. Halm, Vindobonae 1866. Jerome describes the church at Alexandria founded by Mark, Peter's interpres et disciplus, as adhuc judaizans, that is, in the period of Philo, De Viris Illust. viii. But the insurrection under Bar Cochba brought the vengeance of Hadrian upon the capital, and by him the Jews were forbidden to enter it under its new heathen title of AElia Capitolina. Christians had on the other hand free permission to settle in this Roman colony; and then, the Jewish element being so thoroughly eliminated, the church elected Marcus as the first Gentile bishop or “presiding elder.” Probably Jews who had fully renounced Judaism, who had denationalized themselves in embracing Christianity, might also be enfranchised. But the exiled Jews of the stricter party, who clung to their old Judaism like ivy to a ruined tower, and clung to it all the more keenly on account of this proscription, repaired to Pella, their refuge under the first siege, and the Ebionite community so originated survived till the fifth century. In course of time the Christian element had nearly faded out among them, and, as Origen informs us, there was little left to distinguish them from ordinary Jews. There were, however, various modifications both in the theology and practices of the party; and a section called Nazarenes, the original Jewish appellation of believers, were noted for their more orthodox creed and for their stern anti-pharisaic tendencies. See Neander; Lechler, das Apostol. u. das nachapostol. Zeitalter, p. 235.
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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 2". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28