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1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
Ver. 1. I went up ] To that first Christian council, Acts xv.
With Barnabas ] His constant companion, till that bitter bickering, Acts 15:39 . See Trapp on " Act 15:39 "
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
Ver. 2. By revelation ] i.e. By God’s special direction; for he ordereth a good man’s goings, Psalms 37:23 .
I communicated unto them ] ανεθεμην , I laid open the matter freely and familiarly, as unto bosom friends.
But privately ] For all good men are not fit to be trusted with secrets, but only such as can both keep counsel and give counsel.
Or had run in vain ] Lest, if it should be thought that I had not held good correspondence with those other apostles, I might lose the fruit of my ministry.
3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
Ver. 3. Was compelled to be circumcised ] i.e. I would not yield he should be; lest I should seem to countenance them that held circumcision necessary to salvation. In the year of grace 1549, the ministers of Magdeburg did stoutly oppose them of Wittenberg and Leipsic, and set forth many books against them, because they dealt deceitfully, and by their Adiaphora, or things indifferent, as they called them, they paved a way to Popery. (Alsted. Chron.) And this was our case till this late blessed Reformation. It was not without cause that Peter Martyr commended it to the care of Queen Elizabeth, that church governors endeavour not to carry the ark of the gospel into England upon the cart of needless ceremonies.
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Ver. 4. Unawares brought in ] παρεισακτοι , or privily slipped in, pretending piety to their worldly or wicked respects. With such ill instruments the Church hath ever been pestered,2 Peter 2:1; 2 Peter 2:1 . These hell-scouts are skulking in every corner.
To spy out our liberty ] viz. Of circumcising or not circumcising Titus, that they might pick a quarrel with us.
That they might bring us into bondage ] sc. To the ceremonial law. Carolostadius attempted some such thing in Luther’s days, and by him was opposed. (Bucholcer.)
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Ver. 5. To whom we gave place ] We must stick close to the truth, and stickle hard for it, accounting each parcel thereof precious, and not to be parted with for any good. How religious were the apostles and ancients this way! They would not yield for an hour, or exchange one letter or syllable of that holy faith, wherewith Christ had betrusted them.
6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
Ver. 6. Seemed to be somewhat ] Opinion sets the price; when gold is raised from 20s. to 22s., the gold is the same, estimation only raiseth it.
In conference added nothing to me ] They could tell him nothing which he knew not before; when they came to talk together, he found that they did not only hold and teach the same things, but in iisdem verbis, in iisdem syllabis, in the selfsame words and syllables as he did, as Melancthon wisheth all men would.
Whatsoever they were ] Augustine being oppressed with the authority of the Fathers, saith he regardeth not quis, sed quid, the worth of the man, but the weight of his reasons.
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Ver. 7. As the gospel of, &c. ] He equalizeth himself to Peter in office and dignity; though pseudo-apostles and pseudo-catholics deny him that honour. St Peter, Jesuits commend for a worthy spirit, when they censure St Paul for a hot-headed person, &c. And because James is named before Peter, Galatians 2:9 , Bellarmine saith that this text is corrupted ( Latini quidem Petrum praeponunt non sine falsi crimine ); but what will he say to 1 Corinthians 9:5 ; John 1:44 ; Acts 15:13 ; Acts 21:18 , where it appeareth that not Peter but James was president of the council, because he spake the last, and concluded all?
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Ver. 8. For he that wrought, &c. ] He argues from the success of his and Peter’s ministry to the lawfulness of their calling to the work. So he doth 1Co 9:1-3 2 Corinthians 13:4-5 . See Trapp on " 1Co 9:1 " See Trapp on " 1Co 9:2 " See Trapp on " 1Co 9:3 " See Trapp on " 2Co 13:4 " See Trapp on " 2Co 13:5 " He also ascribeth the glory of all to God, when he saith "was mighty in me." A phrase not unlike that other, 1 Corinthians 15:10 ; "Not I, but the grace of God." And again, not we, "but the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God," &c., 2 Corinthians 10:4 .
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Galatians 2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30