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1Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also [also with me]. 2And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto [or laid before] them that [the] gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were [are] of reputation, lest by any means [per chance]1 I should run [be running]2 or had [have]3 run, in vain. But neither [not even] Titus, who was with me, being [though he was]4 a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4And that because of [the] false brethren unawares [insidiously]5 brought in, who came in privily [crept in] to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:6 5To whom we gave place by subjection [by the submission, i.e., required of us] no, not [not even]7 for an hour; 6that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of those who seemed to be somewhat, [who are of reputation—]8 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: [—to me those who are of reputation imparted9 nothing]: 7But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me [that I am entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision],10 as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter [as Peter with that of the circumcision]: 8(For he that wrought effectually [omit effectually] in [for]11 Peter to [toward] the apostleship of the circumcision, the same [omit the same] was mighty in me [wrought for me also] toward the Gentiles;) 9And when James, Cephas,12 and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they [and became aware of the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, who were esteemed as pillars,]13 gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go14 unto the heathen [Gentiles], and they unto the circumcision. 10Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which [which very thing]15I also was forward to do.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Galatians 2:1. Then fourteen years after.—Is this to be reckoned from the calling of the Apostle, or from his first journey to Jerusalem (Galatians 1:18)? At first view we might incline to the latter opinion. But the period of time mentioned Galatians 1:18, is unquestionably to be reckoned from the calling, not from the return to Damascus; it is natural, therefore, to do the same here. His calling is the deciding point of time, and Paul wishes to show what he was doing from that time on, how his apostolical activity has its root in the revelation of Christ then given, and not in human instruction. Besides, if it is acknowledged that Paul here does not mean to enumerate his journeys to Jerusalem in an uninterrupted series, but that the journey to the apostolic council is here meant, there is no purpose served in giving the interval between the two journeys; but it might well be of importance to make known how many years he had already spent in his apostolical office. It would be important to know that, having received it at his calling, he had already been long in the exercise of it, when the other Apostles expressed their concurrence with his doctrine. Comp. also Elwert, programm on Galat. Galatians 2:1-10. The difficult question, which of the Apostle’s journeys to Jerusalem, mentioned in the Acts, is here meant, is too extended to be treated in our present space. Besides, it is of more essential importance for the Acts than for our Epistle. For no one doubts the historical character of the journey mentioned in the Epistle. The result of my investigation is that it was no other than the journey to the apostolic council, that it is not that mentioned Acts 11:30—since he is not giving an unbroken enumeration—nor that mentioned Acts 18:21 (against Wieseler).
[Although this question occupies so large a space in most commentaries on this Epistle, the view given above has been so ably defended latterly, and is now so well established, that a synopsis of the argument and a reference to more extended discussions will be sufficient. The point from which Paul reckons, is his conversion, “being a purely subjective epoch” (Ellicott). Schaff thus states the case: “The Acts mention five journeys after his conversion, viz.: 1.Acts 9:23 (comp. Acts 1:18), the journey of the year 40, three years after his conversion. 2.Acts 11:30; Acts 12:25, the journey during the famine year in 44. 3.Acts 15:2, the journey to the apostolic council in 50 or 51. 4.Acts 18:22, the journey in 54. 5.Acts 21:15 (comp. Romans 15:25 sq.), the last visit, on which he was made a prisoner and sent to Cæsarea, in 58.
“Of these journeys the first, of course, cannot be meant on account of Galatians 1:18. The second is excluded by the chronological date in Galatians 2:1. For as it took place during the famine of Palestine and in the year in which Herod died, A. D. 44, it would put the conversion of Paul back to the year 30, which is much too early. Some proposed to read four instead of fourteen, but without any critical authority whatever. There is no necessity why Paul should have mentioned this second journey, since it was undertaken simply for the transmission of a collection of the Christians at Antioch for the relief of the brethren in Judea, and not for the purpose of conferring with the Apostles on matters of dispute. In all probability he saw none of them on that occasion, since in that year a persecution raged in which James the elder suffered martyrdom, and Peter was imprisoned. The fifth journey cannot be meant, as it took place after the composition of the Epistle to the Galatians and after the dispersion of the Apostles. Nor can we think of the fourth, which was very short and transient (Acts 18:21-22), leaving no time for such important transactions as are here alluded to; nor was Barnabas with him on that occasion, having separated from Paul some time before (Acts 15:39).
“We must therefore identify our journey with the third one mentioned in the 15th chapter of Acts. For this took place in 50 or 51, i.e., fourteen years after his conversion (37), and was occasioned by the important controversy on the authority of the law of Moses and the exact relation of the Gentile converts to the Christian church (Acts 15:2). This visit Paul could net possibly pass over, as it was of the greatest moment to his argument. It is true our passage differs somewhat from the account given by the Acts. But the difference is not irreconcilable. Luke, in keeping with the documentary character of his historical narrative, gives us only the public transactions of the council at Jerusalem; Paul shortly alludes to his personal conference and agreement with the Apostles (Galatians 2:2); both together give us a complete history of that remarkable convention, the first Synod in Christendom, for the settlement of the first doctrinal and practical controversy which agitated the Church.” (Schaff, Comm. in loco.) See also his Apostolic Church, p. 245 sq.; Conyb. and How son, Vol. I., p. 227 sq.; Meyer and Wordsworth, in loco; Alford, Vol. II., Proleg., p. 26; and the valuable note of Lightfoot, p. 122 sq. The authorities in support of this view might be multiplied.—R.]
Galatians 2:2. And I went up by revelation.—Not without design, doubtless, does he bring into view the fact that he went up κατὰ , and so was again deemed worthy of a special revelation from God. He will also remove every thought of his having been, as it were, obliged to present himself before the Apostles, of their having summoned him before them. Laid before them the gospel=that which I preach among the Gentiles, namely, that they are justified by faith.—“Them,” probably the whole church of Jerusalem.—But privately to them which are of reputation.—Besides having addressed the Christians in Jerusalem generally, he appears to have held separate conferences with those “of reputation.” wieseler’s distinction, however, is quite arbitrary; making Galatians 2:3-5 contain the account of his general agreement with the whole church of Jerusalem, and Galatians 2:6-10 the first account of the separate conferences with he Apostles. [Alford thinks there was but one conference, making κατʼ ἰδίαν δέ limit αὐτοῖς; “when I say ‘to them,’ I mean privately to those,” etc., but the view given above (that of Meyer, Ellicott, Lightfoot) is preferable. The general conference is described Acts 15:0 “they declared what things God had done with them,” (Acts 15:4) may refer to these private conferences which probably preceded. The emphasis here is undoubtedly on the private consultations, the result of the public council being already known to the Galatians.—R.] The judgment of “them” [the whole body] is thrown in the background, and he only speaks of “those in reputation,” just mentioned; for the fact that he had received their acquiescence is what he is opposing to the false teachers. Hence we must regard what is stated in Galatians 2:3, as their judgment also.—Δοκοῦντες, æstimati, principal persons. Men of authority; in fact, doubtless, the senior Apostles; especially the three who are named afterwards in Galatians 2:9. He calls them not “Apostles,” but δοκοῦντες, “men of repute” because it is as authorities, as those who stood in repute in the Jerusalem church first, but also in the Christian church generally, nay more, were decisive authorities, that they come into consideration. For precisely this is of moment to him, to be able to say to the Galatians that he has been acknowledged by these as an equally authorized Apostle. Of course δοκοῦντες does not in the least imply a disparagement of the Apostles themselves, for it is the church that accords to them this consideration;—the expression conveys a censure upon this estimation in the church only so far as it might imply a failure to recognize his own apostolic dignity. The censures therefore, touched especially this estimation in the sense in which the Apostles were δοκοῦντες for the Galatian false teachers, and in which these turned it to their own account. The censure of this false preference is given prominence in Galatians 2:6, by the addditional phrase “whatsoever they were.” Paul cannot intend to dispute in the least that in the right sense the senior Apostles were δοκοῦντες for the Christians. [The force of Paul’s expression is weakened by rendering “were of reputation,” since when he writes, they “are” of reputation, hence thus brought into the argument (Lightfoot).—It must be noted also that Paul throughout does not use the word “Apostle.” Whether they were Apostles or no, is not evident from anything in the passage, except the mention of James and Cephas and John (Galatians 2:9), and whether that James was either an Apostle or one of the twelve is an open question. Without discussing the point here, it maybe suggested that one reason for not calling them “Apostles,” was that one of the three “who seemed to be pillars,” and “of repute” was not an Apostle, but James the Just, the head of the church at Jerusalem. This will not only explain the omission of the title, but meet subsequent difficulties.—R.]
Lest perchance I should be running or have run in vain.—The sense remains essentially the same, whether we take μήπως as a final particle, or=whether perchance. After the thorough exposition of Wieseler, however, the latter is to be preferred. (So also Meyer in 4th ed.) Of course, however, he does not mean to say that he himself was doubtful about it. This would have been in conflict with the whole purpose of his detailed account, and would have represented him as dependent on the Senior Apostles. He wished only, on account of the antagonists of his teaching, to obtain from the Apostles, on whose authority these supported themselves, a confirmation of this teaching, in order to cut off every pretext from his opponents. “Run in vain”=labor to no purpose, operam perdere. This would have been the case, if Paul had actually proclaimed a false doctrine, with which the senior Apostles could not agree. The outward success of his preaching is not primarily in view, though we may conclude from Galatians 2:7-9, that he spoke of this also. Others take μήπως as a final particle, and interpret as follows: in order not to appear as one who was running or had run, in vain, as might have been the case, if I had not submitted my gospel to examination, had its harmony with Apostles established; but the idea of “appearing” is extraneous to the passage. [For a clear discussion of the grammatical and exegetical difficulties of this clause, see Ellicott, in loco. Whatever view be adopted, we must not concede that Paul had any doubt about his Gospel. The conditional μήπως is probably used to indicate respect for those in reputation at Jerusalem. The doubt could only concern the opinion of others, which by being opposed, might render his labors in vain.—R.] In what follows he says that he received the desired acquiescence on the part of the Apostles. He does not however at once declare this, but mentions a special circumstance, which implies it in a striking manner.
Galatians 2:3. But not even Titus.—The sense is clear: οὐδέ points to a thought to be supplied. “I laid frankly before them, how I preach among the Gentiles; not concealing that I do not at all hold them to the keeping of the law, to the receiving of circumcision—and now, according to the representation of the false teachers, it was to be expected that they would appear in opposition to me; but. (ἀλλά) so far was this from being the case, so far from declaring this doctrine false [or, connecting it with the last clause, so far from my having run in vain—R.], not. even with respect to Titus, a born Gentile, who had come to Jerusalem, to the very mother of the Jewish Christian churches with me, was the demand made that he should be circumcised, though it might readily have been, when Jewish prejudice was so greatly offended by his uncircumcision.” Still less did they censure the doctrine of Paul, or demand of him that he should preach the necessity of circumcision among the Gentile Christians as a body. The case has been thoroughly perplexed by bringing in, in direct contradiction to what the words say, the thought, that the Apostles had wished, or even demanded, the circumcision of Titus; but that Paul and Titus had set themselves against their desire. Elwert justly remarks, Programm, p. Gal 10: Quid enim incptius dici potest quam illud: tantum abfuit, ut apostoli causam meam improbarent, ut ne Titus quidem illis contraria petentibus obsequeretur? [The word ἠναγκάσθη seems to imply that there was a demand made for the circumcision of Titus, not by the Apostles, but by the false brethren (Galatians 2:4). Had the idea bean merely, that the circumcision was not even demanded, so strong a word would not have been used. There is some force in the suggestion of Lightfoot, that the Apostles recommended Paul to yield as a charitable concession, but convinced at length that he was right, they gave him their support. Still we have not sufficient knowledge of the circumstances to decide whether Paul cites this as an evidence of the Apostles’ agreement with him or of his firmness—in all probability it is both. Not even Titus, of whom as a Greek the false brethren made the demand, was required to submit—or whom as a Greek I would not allow to be circumcised, since this would have been a giving up of the whole matter. The preceding context suggests the former, the subsequent context the latter side of the occurrence. On the reasons for the non-circumcision of Titus, and the circumcision of Timothy (Acts 16:2), see doctrinal notes.—R.]
Galatians 2:4. And that because of the false brethren.—What is to be supplied with “because of the false brethren?” After an examination of all the views presented, it appears to me that we can only say: we do not and cannot know, since Paul has broken off the sentence, and all attempts to fill it out are hazardous, from the danger of introducing foreign matter. The mention of the ψευδάδελφοι is very intelligible. He has already indicated the concurrence of the Apostles by reference to the striking case of Titus, or at least, negatively, that they did not oppose him. But before he says anything definite, positive, respecting this concurrence (Galatians 2:6 sq), he mentions his opposers, who did not concur, who attacked him and his teaching, and had also especially occasioned his journey to Jerusalem. The mention of the false brethren, however, stirs his displeasure, so that he does not complete the thought begun, but first by a brief and fit phrase, describes his opposers, and then falling out of the construction, continues with οἰς, and expresses the thought, which probably he had in mind in mentioning the “false brethren,” namely, that he had not in the least yielded to them. In what he did not yield, is not expressed; probably to their demands, in general, respecting the obligation of the Gentile Christians to keep the law. Not till he has first established this negative result does he revert to the action of the δοκοῦντες, and he now relates the positive acknowledgment, which he had from them.—If we seek a complement to διά, three suggest themselves. (1), ἀνέθην—(Ewald, substantially). According to this, as he cannot pass over the remoter cause of his journey, namely, the intrigues of the Pharisees, the same party that had now of late again persecuted him so bitterly, he begins in Galatians 2:4, anew, as it were, the account of this journey.—Ordinarily, however, the complement is sought in the foregoing sentence, because the somewhat abrupt character of this was rather perplexing, and its contents appeared to require the statement of a reason. This view took δέ usually as epexegetical, and therefore supplied (2) οὐκ ἠναγκάσθη, which, in fact, strongly commends itself; simply, however, in the sense: Now, this took place on account of the “false brethren,” that is, it was even on account of these, that the Christians in Jerusalem, particularly the Apostles, did not urge it upon him, lest, by yielding to them, the opinion that circumcision was necessary, should receive sanction. This contains the implied thought, that in itself they would not unwillingly have seen him circumcised, but that now, for the sake of principle, they did not press it. But this makes it necessary, first to ascribe to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem a way of thinking, which is not ascribed to them in this chapter, but expressly limited to individuals, “false brethren,” in order afterwards to find it impossible that they should have abstained from all demands for circumcising Titus, on account of these “false brethren.” Whether the “false brethren” demanded particularly the circumcision of Titus, is not said. On the other hand, if we complete the sentence thus, the sense is inadmissible, that Paul, precisely on account of the false brethren, opposed himself to a demand to have Titus circumcised, from whomever it proceeded. This alters the plain meaning of Galatians 2:3; ἠναγκάσθη receives the sense: the constraint, which it was attempted to exercise, was frustrated; and especially ούδέ, and the implied thought to which it points, is quite neglected. Then we should have this absurdity: “so far were they from disapproving my teaching, that I or Titus did not even yield when his circumcision was demanded.” If this demand is referred to the Apostles, the thought is completely inverted (see above), but even if it is referred only to the “false brethren,” it is none the less impossible. And the case remains the same, if, instead of “he was not compelled,” we supply “he was not circumcised,” still explaining it, “I or we, on account of the false brethren, did not consent, when it was desired.” Finally, (3) “He was circumcised,” is supplied (δέ therefore being taken adversatively), and in its turn defended by Elwert, Programm, with much acuteness. And, in fact, if we must fill out the sentence, I should be most disposed to declare for this. It especially commends itself by the light which it throws both upon Galatians 2:3 and upon Galatians 2:11. For, beyond question, it remains somewhat enigmatical, why he instances so particularly this one fact of refusing to circumcise Titus, hastening to it even before he has spoken, on the positive side, of the reception of his preaching in Jerusalem. The reproach (Galatians 2:11) then remains not altogether intelligible. On the other hand, all is easily explained, if we assume that Titus was then circumcised. That is, many founded upon this the allegation that he commended circumcision. But especially was this circumstance urged, in order to deduce therefrom, that his teaching had been disapproved by the Apostles, and that he had yielded to these. Therefore, he declares at once: It is not even true, as is commonly related, that Titus was constrained to receive circumcision. Titus was circumcised, not upon a requisition of the Apostles, but voluntarily by me, solely on account of the false brethren insidiously brought in, that they might not, making a handle of his being uncircumcised, prepossess the Christians in Jerusalem against me, and dispose them to a resolution unfavorable for the Gentile Christians. “Quare eandem, quam semper et in omnibus normam secutus, ne quid detrimenti capiat res Christiana, suæ libertatis minime tenax illorum se voluntati sub-mittit, imbecillioribus servit. Neutiquam fratrum irrepttiorum habita ratione hoc fecit, sed eos respiciens, quos, quum fidei infirma ac Judicii parum subacti essent, illorum insectationibus objectos videret. Circumcisione Titi permissa insidias hominum malignorum evitavit, animos imbecilliorum sibi conciliavit apostolus.” Elwert, p. 13. This interpretation is only apparently in conflict with Galatians 2:5. Nay, Elwert remarks that only so does τῇ ὑποταγῇ, find its true explanation; for that only the following translation is natural: to whom not even for an hour did we yield by the submission: “obsequium se præstitisse Paulus profitetur, sed non ita præstitisse, ut illis se victum daret vel de jure suo aliquid cederet.” For he provided that the truth of the Gospel should remain with the Gentile Christians. Of course, he could not yield to the circumstances of the time, without, at the same time, giving a testimony to the evangelical truth, whereby this was maintained in its integrity. This explanation of τῇ ὑποταγῇ, however, awakens some misgiving; could Paul well admit a “ὑπο ταγή” towards the ψευδάδελφοι? Is not this expression too strong? We are tempted, therefore, even admitting this explanation of διά, etc., to join τῇ ὑποταγῇ to the negation, making Paul say that an εἵκειν τῇ ὑποταγῇ nevertheless did not take place, even if their behavior occasioned him to have Titus circumcised.
[As Lightfoot well remarks: “The counsels of the Apostles of the circumcision are the hidden rock on which the grammar of the sentence is wrecked,” but because the grammar is wrecked on this hidden rock, it is not necessary to wreck Paul’s facts and arguments and even principles, on a rock so easily avoided as the theory of Elwert advanced above. In fact, as Meyer remarks, such conduct “would have been unprincipled and wrong.” That is an all-sufficient objection. As regards what should be supplied, it is most naturally taken from the preceding verse, to which our verse then refers, δέ being explicative. Whether “he was not compelled,” or “he was not circumcised,” is open to discussion. The first implies that “those of reputation” did not compel it on this account; the other, that the thing was not done, either because Paul would not thus surrender a principle, or “those of reputation” thought it were best not to do it. As this latter does not imply any definite counsel of the other Apostles—the very point about which there is greatest doubt—it is on the whole safer to adopt it—R.]
Ψευδάδελφοι (also 2 Corinthians 11:26), comp. ψευδαπόστολοι, ψευδοπροφήται, are in general, brethren, fellow-Christians, who bear this name unworthily; specifically, because they, on account of their Judaizing opinions, especially on the necessity of circumcision for Christians, are properly still Jews. So Wieseler. Yet this in itself hardly suffices to explain the strong ψευδο (and especially the παρείσακτοι and παρεισῆλθον), but we must add to it their behavior towards the other Christians, the utterly unbrotherly hateful opposition (not shrinking indeed from intrigues and slanders), which they maintained against the freer evangelical views. The complete definition of “false brethren” is given in “spy out,” “bring us into bondage;” they do not yet stand in the freedom which there is in Christ; nay, more they wish to deprive others also of it; nay, more, they exercise a system of espionage against these. The false teachers in Galatia were essentially such people, perhaps they were emissaries of those in Jerusalem; and on this account it is with special purpose that their conduct in Jerusalem, and their discomfiture, are mentioned. But the Galatian teachers themselves are not meant here; this would be entirely foreign to the context.—A more particular notice respecting these people is given Acts 15:5, whatever judgment may be held of the general relation of the present chapter to Acts 15:0. They were, according to this, persons of the sect of the Pharisees, who, it is true, had come to believe on Jesus, that He was the Christ, but had not given up their Nomism and Ergism, and, therefore, doubtless were so much the more hostile to their former fellow-Pharisee, Paul, on account of his present position, so sharply anti-Pharisaic. Holding fast, as they thus did, essentially, to their Pharisaism, it is easy to understand that their belief in Christ had as yet produced in them few effects of moral transformation. The article describes the persons as the Pharisaical Christians, historically known to the readers; either the particular individuals were known, or, at all events, this sort of people, since the Galatian false teachers were of the same class.
[Insidiously brought in. Lightfoot:—“The metaphor is that of spies or traitors introducing themselves by stealth into the enemy’s camp. The camp is the Christian Church. Pharisees at heart, these traitors assume the name and garb of believers.” He thus paraphrases: “The agitators, who headed the movement, were no true brethren, no loyal soldiers of Christ. They were spies, who had made their way into the camp of the gospel under false colors, and were striving to undermine our liberty in Christ, to reduce us again to bondage.” Wordsworth:—“By mentioning these, he clears the holy Apostles from the imputation of being supposed to have been parties to such a requisition, as that Titus, a Gentile, should be compelled to be circumcised.”—R.] “What is already indicated in the composite ψευδάδελφοι is, by the predicate παρείσακτοι, interchanging immediately after with παρεισῆλθον, brought forward with especial emphasis. They are called παρείσακτοι, because they have pressed in on one side of the entrance; that is, by a forbidden way, sc. into the Christian church, and, therefore, do not properly belong to it. Παρείσακτοι and παρεισῆλοθν are doubtless to be applied to these alone, and not to an outward insinuation of themselves into a single church (for instance, that of Antioch), in order there to oppose Paul. Comp. Acts 15:0.”—Wieseler. Of course, they did the latter also; it was closely connected with their having insinuated themselves into the Christian Church. But here, doubtless, the primary reference is only to their appearance in Jerusalem itself. A local interpretation of παρείσακ τοι and παρεισῆλθον is the less necessary, as parallel expressions are found: παρεισάγειν, 2 Peter 2:1, and παρεισδύειν, Judges 4:0, where the reference is clearly to the Christian Church in general. Who crept in to spy out.—The immediate purpose of their “creeping in” in itself was hardly “to spy out” the liberty of others; but what they did made their coming in (εἰσέρχεσθαι) a “creeping in” (παρεισέρχεσθαι) whose purpose could only be regarded as this “spying out.” “The false brethren are thus characterized according to their common dangerousness to Christian liberty, in order to give the reason why Paul could not yield to such false brethren.”—Wieseler.
Two things are laid to their charge: first, a “spying out of” our liberty;—they lie in ambush for our liberty, spy out in what we show ourselves freemen, turn their notice to that, but with hostile intent; therefore, how widely removed from brotherly love! Then, in the second place, they seek to reënslave the free, i.e., they demand of them to give up their freedom. By the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus is primarily meant freedom from the Mosaic law, from its ritual ordinances, and especially therefore from circumcision. The wider, deeper meaning of this freedom is involved in this, but here, doubtless, not primarily in view. “Our liberty.” Whose? Certainly it does refer to Paul merely, but yet primarily only to those who understood the freedom in Christ, and availed themselves of it, and these without exception. But as Paul no doubt vindicates this standing fast in freedom as at least a right of all Christians, and regards the “false brethren” with their views and their conduct as in truth no Christians, the “we,” in point of fact, embraces all Christians, the Gentile Christians, of course, and also the Jewish Christians, so far as these were not “false brethren.”—In Jesus Christ, as being found in him. [Schaff:—“In living union with Him who is the end of the law (Romans 10:4). This is the positive side of freedom.”—Ellicott:—Not “through Christ,” a meaning it may bear, but in the fuller and deeper sense “in Christ.”—R.]—That they might bring us into bondage:—that is, under the law. On this account, also, the reading καταδουλώ σωνται=make us their servants, is to be rejected, and καταδουλώσουσιν to be read, which is better attested than the subjunctive—σωσιν.
Galatians 2:5. To whom we gave place by the submission, no, not even for an hour.—Here “we” unquestionably, takes on a more restricted sense =I, Paul, probably also Titus himself, and Barnabas. This narrowing of the sense will appear arbitrary to no one. For here the reference is to a single, definite transaction, where Paul can have in mind only the individuals who had part in it; it is somewhat different with “freedom in Christ.” The yielding is still more strongly designated by ὑποταγῇ. (Comp. the different interpretation of Elwert above, Galatians 2:4.)
This decided refusal to yield had been adequately explained by the foregoing characterization of the pseudo-brethren; it is now given again; that the truth of the gospel might continue.—For yielding would have represented Christian freedom as void, and would have overturned the truth of the gospel, on which it is founded.—With you; in itself, doubtless, signifying with the Gentile Christians generally—nay, more, with all Christians; but Paul “individualizes the matter, with reference to those to whom he writes.” For it concerned him to bring home to them, that even at that time he had guarded the benefit of Christian freedom for them, in order to show in what contradiction their present behavior stood with this fact, since they themselves were now abjuring this benefit.
Galatians 2:6. But of those who are of reputation.—To the pseudo-brethren he now opposes “those of repute.” The former he withstood, from the latter he received no instruction implying disapprobation of his teaching. Galatians 2:6 is an anacoluthon, his language being somewhat disturbed in the thoughts of the presumption and deceit with which the Galatian false teachers had elevated the “δοκοῦντες” above him, and had vindicated the apostolic authority of the former only, denying it to him. He begins as if he would subjoin an οὐδὲν ἔλαβον. But the remark respecting the δοκεῖν εἰ̄ναί τι leads him away from this, and he continues with another verb, afterwards resuming δοκοῦντες, and giving at the same time the grounds of the parenthetical statements. Ewald, on the contrary, however, joins οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει with ἀπὸ τῶν δοκ.=compared with these, however high they stood, I am in nothing inferior. It is difficult to justify this grammatically. “Of reputation.”—See above, Galatians 2:2. The main idea implied in δοκοῦντες, used absolutely, is here clearly expressed by the addition εἶναί τι=to be something great, to be of some account; with what incidental meaning, see above.—Whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me.—On the one hand Paul has emphasized the consideration in which the Apostles stood, because it was of moment to him to be able to say, that he had been acknowledged even by these. Yet this might be misunderstood, hence the parenthesis. He emphasizes only for the sake of his readers. To him, on his own account, “it makes no difference in how high authority soever they stood;” as respected him, they did not come into consideration as δοκοῦντες, they asserted no authority: to me they imparted nothing. This exaltation of individuals=the Apostles, in such a way as to throw the authority of Paul into the shade, rests entirely upon mere human judgment. God’s census does not rank them thus: God accepteth no man’s person.—He makes no such distinction, to Him the senior Apostles are not “of repute” in contrast with Paul; he has chosen Paul to be an Apostle as much as them. And, he continues, I have a right so to speak, for those “of repute” demeaned themselves altogether agreeably to this divine valuation, and did not undertake to instruct me. [The E. V., “in conference added nothing to me,” gives the commonly received interpretation of the verb προςανέθεντο: “gave no new or additional instruction.” But notwithstanding the authority for such a rendering, it does not seem to be justified by the use of the word (Meyer, Alford, Ellicott). The idea of imposing burdens is obviously inadmissible.—R.] It is most simple to refer the ποτέ to the lifetime of Jesus=it signifies nothing to me that they enjoyed the immediate, confidential intercourse of Jesus, while I did not. For it was on this that the Judaizers founded special preëminence which they attributed to the other Apostles over Paul. Others: then in Jerusalem; which is less probable. [The point in question respecting ποτέ is: has it a temporal reference in the sense of olim, formerly (either during our Lord’s lifetime or then in Jerusalem), or does it simply render ὁποῖοι more general and inclusive, having the force of cunque. The latter is classical, but the N. T. usage is disputed. Since it is not said anywhere that these “of repute” were Apostles, who enjoyed immediate intercourse with the Lord, the latter is, on the whole, preferable, as giving a wider signification to δοκοῦντες. “Were” may mean in the past from the time of narration or of the incident narrated; the latter is more probable if ποτέ is taken as referring to intercourse with the Lord during His lifetime.—R.]
Galatians 2:7. When they saw that I am entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision.—Naturally, “gospel” of course means here (comp. πεπίστ. and Galatians 2:8) an official activity of the Apostle, therefore not the gospel as to its contents, but the evangelical preaching, τὸ εὐαγγελίζεσθαι, as often. The genitives, “of the uncircumcision,” “of the circumcision,” are therefore gen obj.=preaching of the gospel among the uncircumcision, or the circumcision; Galatians 2:8 exchanges it for “apostleship of the circumcision,” and as εἰς τὰ ἔθνη (Galatians 2:8-9) shows that the abstracts “uncircumcision,” “circumcision,” stand for the concretes—Jews, Heathen. That here we are not to suppose two gospels different in character, the Gospel of the Uncircumcision, and the Gospel of the Circumcision, of which the latter maintained the necessity of circumcision, while the former let it drop (Baur), but only two different circles of hearers of the same gospel, may be regarded as self-evident to the unprejudiced reader.16 Peter appears as the representative of the Apostles to the Jews, because he especially had hitherto labored as such. Afterwards, however, the two other Apostles, James and John, are designated, with Peter, as Apostles for the Jews (Galatians 2:9. αὐτοὶ δέ). “That Peter had a Gentile Christian vocation also (Acts 15:7) is not denied, but a parte potiori fit denominatio.”—Meyer; The converse applies to Paul. In Galatians 2:9 Barnabas also appears conjointly with him, as Gentile Apostle. [It must be noted that while Paul uses the word “apostleship” in Galatians 2:8, with reference to himself and Peter, he does not use it or anything to the same purport in Galatians 2:9, where James and Barnabas are spoken of. The same is true of the whole passage. There is no evidenoe of the apostleship of James or Barnabas in this whole Epistle, whatever the probabilities may be. See notes on Galatians 2:9.—R.] “Entrusted;”17 Supply: By God through Christ—agreeably to the proof of this affirmation rendered in Galatians 2:8. For from what facts did they perceive what is said in Galatians 2:7 respecting the different mission of each? Primarily from what follows in Galatians 2:8 (γάρ).
Galatians 2:8. For he that wrought effectually for Peter.—From the fact that God had been operative for Peter in the one, and for Paul in the other direction, they concluded that God had given to the one the one, and to the other the other vocation. How far now was God operative for one and the other?—Meyer, Wieseler:—“He furnished them forth for the apostolic office, with illumination and endowments, gave them the χαρίσματα of an Apostle.” (Comp. Acts 15:12 : God did miracles and wonders by them among the Gentiles.) True, it is certainly not merely these endowments themselves that are referred to, but also and especially what they did in virtue of the same, the beginning and result of their activity, wherein God’s “working” was recognized. What immediately follows in Galatians 2:9 : and became aware of the grace that was given unto me, [unfortunately misplaced in E. V.—R.] undoubtedly also refers to the outfit for the apostolic office by means of charisms, yet it is most naturally referred mainly to the success of their preaching. Precisely from this they perceived how highly endowed Paul was. They first inferred his equal apostolic calling from the “grace given,” hence the calling itself cannot be meant. [Yet what more natural than that Paul should mean: “they recognize my calling, because they perceive that I was called by grace.” The main reference may be to the success, but the perception of the calling through the grace given, is not to be excluded. On the two participles ἰδόντες and γνόντες, Lightfoot says: “the former describes the apprehension of the outward tokens of his commission, as evinced by his successful labors; the latter the conviction arrived at in consequence that the grace of God was with him.”—R.]
Galatians 2:9. James and Cephas and John.—“James.” Is this one identical with James the Lord’s brother, Galatians 1:19? The fact that there the additional appellation is expressly given, while it is lacking here, does not, of course, disprove the identity. Inasmuch as James had already been just mentioned as “the Lord’s brother,” if the same one is meant this special designation might be omitted here. The main question is: Could the James, whom Paul names in this passage, have been other than an Apostle? And this question we shall always be inclined to answer negatively. In itself it would be very intelligible, that a brother of the Lord converted to the faith, although not an Apostle, might have attained an eminent position in the church of Jerusalem. But, considering how plainly our Epistle itself brings to view the strong emphasis laid by the Jewish Christians on an immediate inauguration into the apostolate by Christ, would it have been probable that such a one, not an Apostle, would have been reckoned by these among the “pillars,” “those of reputation?” And if one not an Apostle had enjoyed so eminent an estimation as a “pillar” (James being here placed even before Peter), could they then have so strongly charged upon Paul a want of parity with the senior Apostles? And would he then have found it necessary to prove his equality with such strength of assertion as he does in Galatians 1:0? James, the Lord’s brother also lacks this parity, and could claim it even less than Paul, since he could not appeal to any immediate revelation and calling [? comp. 1 Corinthians 15:7.—R.], and Paul certainly would not have omitted bringing this forward, thereby to invalidate the reasoning of his opponents. These are substantially Wieseler’s arguments. We must then either take James the Lord’s brother as identical with James, the son of Alpheus, and therefore himself an Apostle (a view already rejected in commenting on Galatians 1:19), or take the James of this passage as a different one, i.e., the son of Alpheus and not the Lord’s brother. That the James in question occupied a certain official position as chief pastor in the church of Jerusalem is justly inferred from the precedence of his name here and also from Galatians 2:12. This on the other hand accords well with the special prominence given to Peter, Galatians 2:7-8. In reference to proper apostolic activity, in missionary activity, Peter precedes James.
[We are again confronted with this difficult question respecting James. On the theory of the identity of James Alphaei and James, the Lord’s brother, all difficulty vanishes here, as well as in Acts 15:0, and for this reason it is adopted by many. The view, that there were other Apostles besides the Twelve and Paul, avoids both the other difficulties, but is on other grounds very objectionable. We are to reconcile the view advanced Galatians 1:19 (that there were two prominent men named James, one the son of Alpheus and an Apostle, the other James the Lord’s brother, who was not an Apostle) with this passage. Which is referred to here? Schmoller, following Wieseler, says, the former, to which view objection must now be made. 1. The James here referred to was the head of the church at Jerusalem. Such a position is ascribed to the Lord’s brother, to James the Just; if he cannot be identified with the son of Alpheus, the son of Alpheus is not referred to here. 2. This position over the church of Jerusalem, so obviously implied here, does not necessarily imply that James was an Apostles. For with respect to missionary activity Peter stands first, with respect to the church at Jerusalem this James. Was not missionary work distinctively apostolic work? was not one not an Apostle more likely to be in a permanent position at Jerusalem? 3. Paul does not call these three, Apostles, any more than he calls Barnabas an Apostle. In fact all the way through he uses a term that is indefinite—“of reputation.” If he meant Apostles only and wished to show his agreement with the senior Apostles, he would hardly have so carefully avoided saying so.—“Those in repute” were esteemed in Galatia as well as Jerusalem, and he was defending himself against Judaizers, who while denying his apostleship, quoted against him the mother church as well as the college of the Apostles. Hence he speaks of “the pillars” of the church then and there, not of Apostles as such, and puts them in the order of precedence in that church, “James and Peter and John.” Had all of them been of the Twelve, and as such recognized his apostleship (for these three gave him the right hand of fellowship), how could James, name come first? Any argument proving James to have done this as a distinctively apostolic act proves too much: proves him to be the head of the apostolic college. It is as head of that church, whence the Judaizing influence in Galatia came, that he takes precedence. Therefore we identify this James with the Lord’s brother (so in Galatians 2:12).—R.]
Who were esteemed as pillars=as supports of the Christian church. Christ, of course, is the foundation. The Christian world is viewed as an οἰκοδομή.
They gave—the right hands of fellowship.—In general=They concluded with me and Barnabas an agreement as formal and firm as it was amicable. The more precise sense is given by the preceding context, inasmuch as this agreement was founded upon that. Seeing the coöperation (ἐνεργεῖν) of God rendered to both Peter and Paul, they had become persuaded of the equal divine vocation of each, of the former to the preaching of the gospel among the Gentiles, of the latter to the preaching of the gospel among the Jews. To this clearly recognized divine will they now rendered obedience by the formation of this compact. Agreeably to this twofold vocation they regulated also the twofold activity; assigning formally to each the field of labor to which, as they had become convinced, he was called. This was, it is true, a division of the work, but in the consciousness that it was a common work of preaching the gospel, one in God, who had only assigned to one this post, and to the other that. Therefore they gave “right hands of fellowship.” [Lightfoot: “gave pledges.” “The outward gesture is lost sight of in this expression, as appears from the fact that the plural is often used of a single person.”—R.] It was to be a parallel but a coöperative activity. The assumption of Baur therefore is entirely untenable, that it had only been a purely external compromise, that the senior Apostles after as before had held firmly the necessity of circumcision and the observance of the Mosaic law to salvation; that for the mission to the Gentiles they had tolerated Paul’s so widely divergent principles, because they could not prevent them, but that a further, inner bond between Paul’s mission to the Gentiles, and their mission to the Jews, did not exist. This would make “gave the right hands of fellowship” signify nothing more than, to come to an agreement and indeed really to an agreement to separate.18 That we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the Circumcision.—The purpose of the words, according to the connection, is doubtless to point out, that in this act the acknowledgment of the parity of Paul, and particularly the approbation of his teaching, was expressed in the strongest manner. So far were the senior Apostles from demanding a change in his teaching, that by this fixed compact they gave a full sanction to it, and declared in the most unequivocal manner, that they held it to be a pure gospel and worthy to be preached. For otherwise they would not have been able so composedly to make over the Gentile world to Paul as his mission field. To the general purpose of the statement the added clause “only,” etc., (Galatians 2:10) also contributes. One wish, to be sure, they had respecting Paul and Barnabas; which, however, related in no way to a change of doctrine, implied no obligation toward the “circumcision,” concerning doctrine, but was only an entreaty to remember the poor. But the meaning and purpose of this added clause is not, that this was the only limitation of the separation here coming to light (Baur). In practice, modifications of this partition of the field of labor arose, especially to Paul, in consequence of the Jews of the dispersion. The partition therefore is to be understood not so much ethnographically as geographically. (Comp. also Galatians 2:10, where “the poor” means poor people in Judea, and, therefore, “circumcision” here in contrast with the Gentile countries is also Judea.)
Galatians 2:10. Remember the poor:—of course by gifts. As to the cause of the poverty of the Christians in Judea there are different conjectures.—Which very thing.—Paul studiously brings this forward in order to strengthen the contrast between the Jewish Christian opposition to him, and his approved zeal and affection for the Jewish Christians.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. The significance of this event. On the significance, with respect to Christian doctrine and the Christian Church, of the proceedings between the Apostle Paul and the Christians in Jerusalem, especially the senior Apostles, since the proceedings themselves are not here detailed, the reader is referred to Acts 15:0 and to the remarks of Lechler in loco, Lange’s Comm. Acts, p. 282 sq. Only this need be said here; by the acknowledgment of the “liberty in Christ Jesus”, an emancipation from the old Covenant was for the first time effected; it was authoritatively established that a new Covenant was come, and Christianity was recognized as the absolutely perfect and the universal religion. Even though it was Paul who first brought this truth, in theory and practice, to its just validity, it was not, by any means, merely his own subjective view to such an extent as to make of Christianity something else than what it was, or was meant to be, in itself. This appears in the clearest light from his representation. Doubtless there were not a few who imputed this to him, and, therefore, were passionately hostile to the rise of his influence (“pseudo-brethren”), Jewish Christians, who were as yet more Jews than Christians. Against these Paul had to combat, and to what extent is shown, not only in our Epistle, but also in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. But precisely those whose voice was most availing (“those of repute”), and who, at the same time, best knew what was Christ’s true mind and purpose, frankly concurred with Paul, were one with him, and with them certainly all who had really become disciples of Christ, and, in the power of the Holy Ghost, had overcome all Pharisaic leanings, or had never had them. And although they for themselves did not stand upon that point of the “liberty in Christ Jesus” represented by Paul, yet these only needed a setting forth, on the part of Paul, of his preaching among the Gentiles, and of the argument inhering in the fact of its success, to convince them, in the first place of the possibility, in the case of the Gentiles, of being saved through faith in Christ alone. Comp. respecting Peter, Galatians 2:16; moreover, his course, Acts 10:0, his justification of it, Acts 11:0; must not the other Apostles then have been prepared by the latter for the report rendered by Paul, Acts 15:0? Therefore, that chapter and Galatians 2:0, do not at all make the impression that they might still have had an opposite opinion and only now gave it up; and, of course, not the impression that they yet retained their antagonistic opinion, and yielded only externally. And even if they, and with them, the greater part of the Jewish Christians emancipated themselves only partially and gradually from a personal observance of the law, yet with that admission respecting the Gentiles, the principle of Christianity was acknowledged, it was acknowledged that a new Covenant had come, founded upon Christ alone.—There existed a consensus apostolorum on this question of principle: shall we have Law and the old Covenant or Christ and the new Covenant? This, thank God, is securely guaranteed, and the dissensus, which is said to have arisen between the original Apostles, as contracted Judaizers, and Paul, the man of Progress, is a discovery of modern criticism, which views testimony so plain as that of our chapter, and of Acts 15:0, only through the glass of its own preconceptions.
2. Liberty in Christ. In opposition to the pseudo-brethren, Paul, in the interest of the truth of the gospel, indicates the “liberty in Christ,” with the utmost decision, and will not be brought into bondage. On the other hand, where the truth of the gospel is not at stake, Paul scruples not of his own accord to make himself the servant of all, and for the sake of gaining souls (1 Corinthians 9:19-20) renounces “liberty.” The rule herein contained for the conduct of the Christian is clear; he may not bind his conscience by a human ordinance, which passes itself off for a commandment of God, nor permit it to be imposed upon him as a condition of salvation; but he not only may, but ought to, make himself a servant, to bind himself, to make something a duty of conscience to himself, for the sake of a weak brother. But because he does this of free will, in thus “becoming a servant,” he most shows his freedom, he does it as freeman, and remains clearly conscious of the distinction between God’s commandment and man’s ordinance. The rule in itself is clear, but demands much wisdom in its practical applications.
3. [Titus and Timothy. The principle just stated can best be illustrated by a reference to the Apostle’s conduct in this case of Titus and that of Timothy (Acts 16:3) subsequently. Wordsworth thus judiciously states the difference: “If Timothy was circumcised (as was probably well known in Galatia), why not Titus? If not Titus, why Timothy? St. Paul replies to this question here: ‘But not even he who was with me at Jerusalem, being a Gentile, was compelled to be circumcised. I would not consent that he should be circumcised, even at Jerusalem. I do not consent to your circumcision,—because you are Gentiles, and because you have embraced the gospel, and because it would be to force you backwards, instead of forwards, if I compelled you, or permitted others to compel you, to submit to the Levitical Law. But Timothy’s case was very different from yours. As has been well said by Augustine, St. Paul circumcised Timothy, in order that Timothy’s mother and maternal friends might not imagine that he detested circumcision, as if it were an idolatrous thing; for circumcision was from God, but Idolatry is of the Devil. But he did not circumcise Titus, lest he should afford a handle to those who alleged that Gentiles, receiving the gospel, could not be served without circumcision; and who deceived the Gentile Christians by imputing such an opinion to St. Paul. He might perhaps have allowed even Titus to receive circumcision, as a thing indifferent, and for the sake of peace and charity. But these false brethren did not proffer circumcision as a thing but as necessary. Observe 1) His charity, in circumcising Timothy at Lystra, in condescension to the scruples of weak brethren. 2) His courage in refusing to circumcise Titus at Jerusalem, in submission to the requisitions of false brethren. He would be tender-hearted to the erring, but he would not make the least compromise with error; and he would make no concession to any who would impose their errors on others as terms of communion.”—R.]
4. The importance of Paul’s position. Paul emphasizes so decidedly the fact that the senior Apostles gave him no new instruction, but recognized him as of equal authority, not out of pride, but in order to establish the truth of his preaching of the gospel, and the title by which he exercised the apostleship. He does it in the same spirit as in chap. 1; he declares that he did not receive his gospel from man.—Paul is protesting, in fact, against the beginnings of a Papacy, which the “false brethren” wished to erect by exaggerating the authority of the “Pillar Apostles” (and probably of Peter especially), as something to which a Paul must accommodate himself, as having no commission independently of it. “The authority of the pillars,” however, was only a pretext, the rallying word that they used; their own authority was what they sought.—Heubner.
[The authority of the “Mother Church” seems, from the drift of Paul’s narrative, to have been the rallying cry rather than the authority of Peter, since, in the sentence which establishes the acquiescence of the “pillars,” the name of James stands first. The argument gains force as a protest in this view (especially if James were not one of the Twelve). For the essence of Papacy is not the primacy of Peter, that was just such a pretext as the Galatians used, but the infallible authority of a Mother-Church. Therefore, the ground on which Paul stands is the basis for other protests than the famous one of the 16th century, since the insisting upon things indifferent as necessary is not confined to one Pope at Rome, but often issues from a body claiming like authority.—R.]
5. Diversity of calling. Paul and Peter were engaged in the same one gospel, but to each the Lord had assigned a different mission; to the one, that to the Gentiles; to the latter, that to the Jews. Clearly conscious of this, they divided the field of labor between them. This diversity of calling, resting upon diversity of gifts (Charisms), or perhaps diversity in the providential course of previous life, etc., must be carefully considered in the kingdom of God, if anything is to be really accomplished. One may stand fully and firmly upon the ground of evangelical faith, himself have living faith, and yet be by no means qualified for every task in the kingdom of God. In this respect also, the body of Christ has many members, having diverse offices, but coöperating for the same end. It is an organic whole, and hence such an organization as took place on a small scale among the Apostles is entirely admissible. It must, however, be natural, inwardly true, not artificial and merely external, else it were mechanical, not organic.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Galatians 2:1. From Starke:—A preacher must not shrink from toil and labor, when he finds opportunity in his ministry to further the gospel, but neglecting his own convenience, should be ready to offer up all the powers of his body and spirit in the service of God.—Rieger:—A carefully chosen company; Barnabas, a Jew, one of the first fruits unto Christ, and Titus a born Gentile, not even circumcised, but both one in Christ.—Starke:—It is an excellent thing when brethren are at one.—This is in the church of God a beginning of Synods, which are rightly retained.
Galatians 2:2. Let us strive at least for this, that what we do in weighty matters, we may do by God’s governance and not after our own will. Conferences which are held concerning the affairs of the kingdom of God, by men who stand in one Spirit, have a great advantage, for thereby there comes to pass a communication of gifts between each other to the common use.—Hedinger:—To ask men for counsel, must have divine command, will and order, else it helps little in matters of faith, and it is hurtful for man to trust thereon.—Rieger:—Also as concerns repute with others, a man can receive nothing except it be given him from above. Paul with all that God had bestowed on him, and wrought through him, came into no such general repute. He had to endure continually increasing contradiction against himself. It must, however, have been for him a needful mantle of obscurity.—Starke:—As all hindrances, that can hinder the fruit of the Gospel must be diligently avoided, and removed out of the way, so also the undeserved suspicion of any.
Paul does not therefore defiantly say, “I know that I preach the right Gospel, let others think of it what they will,” but he is concerned for a mutual understanding, for the convincing of others, in the interest of peace and of the cause which they serve in common.—[Calvin:—What then? Does the word of God fall, when it is unsupported by the testimony of men? No, but a powerful confirmation of faith is yielded, when all the teachers “speak the same thing and there are no divisions among them.” Were many as desirous as he to edify the Church, they would take more pains to be agreed among themselves.—Wordsworth:—Paul did all that was requisite on his part to obviate that very result which, unhappily, manifested itself among the Galatians, viz.: the bringing of his doctrine into public collision with that of the other Apostles. Also by the mention of the private conference, particularly with Peter, he prudently prepares the way for his description of the public dispute with Peter at Antioch.—R.]
Galatians 2:3. Spener:—In things indifferent we may well, out of love, yield something of our liberty to the good of the weak. But where men would press these upon us as necessary to salvation, and our yielding would have the appearance of bringing the truth of the gospel into jeopardy, we should never yield.—Starke:—It is wholly contrary to the nature of the gospel to lay on any one a constraint of conscience in things that concern our salvation, for the nature of the gospel is not to constrain, but to beseech, to allure, and to convince. But the spirit of Antichrist binds and constrains the consciences to his ordinances and doctrines of men.
Galatians 2:4. Even in the best state of the Christian church there are false brethren, who will be taken as right-minded Christians, and are not. Now these are much more dangerous than open enemies of the gospel.—Cramer:—The true behavior of false teachers. They come not in at the right door; they are sneakers in, and hide themselves behind a false disguise.—Hedinger:—Legal disciplinarians, who look at the outward cannot endure that others should enjoy liberty, and yet in the Spirit do more than they. Dear Christian! learn once for all, that outward taskwork cannot make a living heir of God. The heart! the heart! The heart, from its inmost centre must love, fear, honor God, flee sin, and praise Him, who for thee has died and is risen again.—Starke:—The main aim of false teachers is only to take us prisoners to deprive us of our liberty in Christ, although they do not confess such an aim in words, but will have the appearance of wishing only to check carnal security and liberty.
Galatians 2:5. Berlenb. Bible:—The world and hypocrites count this for obstinacy. Is that then commendable? is the cry with it. I thought now that Christians should yield, and Paul boasts himself of just the opposite ! But we must get the true understanding of the matter from the words that follows: We would not give way thereto in subjection, so as to suffer ourselves to be placed under this order of things. Otherwise a Christian willingly gives way, as Paul also proved when he circumcised Timothy. But when they would have him do it as a matter of conscience he did it not. One may be zealous for true freedom, and yet for love’s sake bear with much. If it be not given out for a first step to salvation, love endures all; but faith will suffer no derogation of itself.—In our time many a one thinks on a sudden, that he will be as valorous as Paul, as Luther; but he must first have their spirit. For valor there needs a divine power.—Freedom and Truth must go together, else freedom profits not. Truth is inward, freedom, what one maintains outwardly thereof. They are treasures of two kinds, but springing from the same root. And because I will not suffer men to plant anything false in my heart, I must guard myself without.—From Starke:—The law is something transient: it is the gospel that is permanent. The gospel too contains the kernel of all the Mosaic ceremonies, the shell only falls away. The shadow recedes when the sun rises.
The liberty which is in Christ: 1. We may renounce it for love’s sake; 2. we must not let ourselves be robbed of it—for the truth of the gospel’s sake.—The truth of the gospel is above all; may be hazarded at no price.—If the truth of the gospel is at stake, the combat may not be shunned.—[Our freedom, 1. negatively, from the bondage of the law, 2. positively, in Christ Jesus; hence Christian liberty no license.—False brethren the most dangerous enemies to liberty. Weak brethren disturb yet strengthen it; false brethren seek to undermine and destroy it. Because “out of Christ,” yet in His camp, they spy out and would betray what we have in Him, our liberty.—What a contrast! the false brethren creeping in to rob others of truth and liberty; Paul our faithful, fearless, yet humble and holy champion for the truth which makes us free (John 8:32).—R.]
Galatians 2:6. Wurt. Summ.:—This is Paul’s meaning: God looks not on the outward person and standing of a man, so that he should prefer a learned one to an unlearned, a rich man to a poor, a powerful man to a weak, but abides by the rule of His word, namely: “In every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of Him.” In which thing we then should all follow God, and neither for the sake of a person or of any earthly thing, should we retire from the right or from the rule of God’s word, but should abide steadfastly by it, even though an emperor, a king or a governor should command otherwise, or though it should cost life or limb.—Starke:—In matters of faith, the authority of persons and outward preëminence has no weight, but only the truth of doctrine, which is Christ’s and from Christ.—[Schaff:—Paul means no disrespect to his colleagues, but even their advantages, he represents as having no weight where the truth of the gospel was concerned. His high sense of independence far from being identical with pride, rested in his humility; it was but the complement to the feeling of his absolute dependence upon God.
“God no respecter of persons.” The Galatians were; why else this constant reference to those “of repute?” There is no slight intended to those of repute, but a rebuke to those who in their Christian opinion lean not on God, but on men, men of position, reputation. How many neither false brethren, nor so far gone in error as the bewitched Galatians pin their faith on the δοκοῦντες.—R.]
Galatians 2:7. Starke:—The gospel is a Divine deposit and treasure, which is not given to any one for his own, but is only entrusted, so that we must deal with it as pleases Him who has given us such a trust.—Spener:—God has made wise distribution among His servants; though He calls them in common to all spiritual functions, and none of them is quite free from some; yet He appoints to each in particular his certain part, where and in which he shall serve Him, and for that He fits him out with the needful gifts. Therefore, special blessing attends their labor, when they are where the Lord has set them.
[The gospel treasure, the chosen vessels to which it was entrusted. The adaptation for the field of labor is the gift and trust of God’s grace. The preparation of the field, God’s providential work. The assignment of the field, God’s act, to which the Church but consents, as in the first and weightiest case.—R.]
Galatians 2:8. Spener:—All gifts, all power in instruction and success of labor, come from God, who must be effectual with us and in us, if we are to accomplish anything. 1 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 3:6. Therefore, to Him belongs all the praise and thanks.—Cramer:—The holy ministry is not a mere babbling, but a mighty instrument, wherewith God breaks hearts to pieces, as with a hammer, and also a two-edged sword, and a sharp knife, wherewith He cuts out the stony heart.
Galatians 2:9. Starke:—We are bound, not only to recognize the grace which God has given to us, and rightly to use the same, but also to recognize that which others have received, and to be helpful that this also may be turned to use.
[“James, and Cephas, and John.” From Wordsworth:—He mentions these by name, because what he says was honorable to them. When he has anything less creditable to record, ho spares the names of individuals even of the false brethren. He mentions Peter below, for which, doubtless, there was a necessity. It was providential, too, since some who claim to be the successors of St. Peter profess to be above error and beyond rebuke.—R.]
Spener:—Although the teachers of the gospel, in respect of their office, are alike, yet there is a distinction between them in respect to gifts; and it is not amiss that, according to such distinction, they should be used for weightier and greater, or for lesser functions, and accordingly should be had in greater or less reputation. [Calvin:—Even in the Church of God, he who enjoys a larger measure of grace ought, on that account, to receive higher honor. But, in all cases, let the rule be followed: “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”—R.]—“They gave the right hands of fellowship.” Anacker, Bibelstanden:—What a moment must that have been! What a blessed working of the Holy Ghost! What a victory for the good cause of Paul, or rather for the cause of Christ’s Gospel itself!
We here see the distinction between true and false union in matters of faith; it would have been false union, if Paul had yielded; that is, had abandoned the sound evangelical ground upon which he stood, and the three senior Apostles had then first recognized him; it was true union when Paul, with decision, maintained the evangelical truth, and the three yet joined fellowship with him, because they were persuaded of the truth, of the divine origin, of his preaching.—Accord in matters of faith: 1. Possible and permitted only where evangelical truth is maintained, and, therefore, Paul’s firmness is not to be censured; 2. but this maintained, it is not only beautiful, but a duty; a) in the interest of the fulfilment of the commandment of love; b) in the interest of the advancement of the cause of God’s kingdom.—The willingness of the Apostles to recognize Paul, an example for us; 1. they examined Paul’s doctrine first; but 2. so soon as they had persuaded themselves of his Divine mission, they entered into fellowship with him, giving up their particular opinions and scruples.—The one apostolic church, built: 1. not upon the authority of one or another Apostle, but 2. upon the agreement of the same, or rather upon the One Gospel.—The gospel of righteousness through faith in Christ Jesus, the touchstone of true and false Apostles; the former unite in this, in spite of all other differences; the latter not, because they are concerned for themselves, and not for Christ.—Anacker, Bibelstunden:—Did they not then immediately separate themselves again? O, no; they were and remained one in the Lord, but each knew the field into which especially the Lord had sent him, each joyfully accepted his part, and joyfully and humbly left to the other what belonged to him. So should it be among Christians!
Galatians 2:10. Cramer:—It is a part of the holy ministry to have an eye to the poor and to the distribution of alms.—Anacker, Bibelstunden:—With respect to the poor no division should occur; but in all the various spheres and callings which separate men, mainly in place and station, let compassionate love be a continual outward proof that we are one in the inner ground of faith. On the other hand, such fellowship of love in fruitful measure is only possible where there is a consciousness of the fellowship of faith.—F. Müller:—Such love, we rejoice to believe, will again awake in our days; the hearts of Christians have become warm and intent on remembering the need of their brethren, whether it be in showing love to the distant heathen, or to those who, though in the midst of Christendom, yet live no better than heathen, or to oppressed brethren in the faith, who, surrounded by a hostile communion, lack the most necessary means for the maintenance of their church life. But such love is still far from prevailing fully among us.
[Luther:—True religion is ever in need. Wherefore a true and faithful pastor must have a care of the poor also.—Burkitt:—The faithful ministers of Christ ought, upon first and fit occasions, to excite and stir up their people to duties of charity, as well as piety; to costly and expensive duties, as well as those that are easy and less burdensome; these being no less profitable to the Church, and much more evidential of a real work of grace upon the heart.—Wordsworth:—Paul here shows 1. His fraternal cooperation with the other Apostles; 2. His love for the Jewish Christians; 3. That his non-compliance with the requirements of the false brethren was from no lack of charity to them, He became a suitor to the Gentiles for alms to the Jews, and at length a victim to the rancor of the Jews, when he was engaged at Jerusalem in the act of promoting this very thing.—R.]
[Unity in beneficence: 1. a fruit of the Spirit in the early Church; 2. a hopeful sign in the Church of the present day.—Paul forward in this work of beneficence; first in time, first in effort.—He continued to be forward. Just after writing this Epistle, he made a tour, gathering the alms of the Greek churches for the saints at Jerusalem, whence came the impugners of his office and doctrine. Christian beneficence, like God’s, overlooks unworthiness and ingratitude. “The false brethren” would be “forward” at the distribution of alms to the “saints,” yet Paul’s forwardness was not affected by this.—R.]
Galatians 2:2; Galatians 2:2.—[On μήπως. See Exegetical Notes.—R.]
Galatians 2:2; Galatians 2:2.—[This form of the English present undoubtedly gives the better meaning. So Alford, Ellicott, Lightfoot.—R.]
Galatians 2:2; Galatians 2:2.—[“Have” must take the place of “had” for grammatical reasons, “should” being an auxiliary here also.—R.]
Galatians 2:3; Galatians 2:3.—[The E. V. is literally correct, but does not bring out the reason for his being circumcised, here implied.—R.]
Galatians 2:4; Galatians 2:4.—[Παρεισάκτους, only here in N. T. It means “insidious,” “those foisted in” (Alford, Schaff). It must be rendered adverbially in English.—R.]
 Galatians 2:4.—[The reading of the Rec. καταδουλώσωνται is generally regarded as a correction, since the subjunctive usually follows ἵνα. The future καταδουλώσουσιν is found in א. A. B. C. D. E., and adopted by modern editors.—R.]
Galatians 2:5.—[Τῇ ὑποταγῇ, a particular submission, that demanded of us.—R.]
Galatians 2:5; Galatians 2:5.—Οἶς οὐδέ is to be retained with Lachmann, Tischendorf, etc. [For this reading there is an immense preponderance of external authority; א. A. B. C. F. K. L. Modern editors all retain it—the omission is easily accounted for. See the extended critical note of Lightfoot on this passage, p. 120 sq.—R.]
Galatians 2:6; Galatians 2:6.—[Τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι. The idea of “seeming to be somewhat,” must give place to that of “being deemed somewhat.” So Alford, Ellicott, Lightfoot, and most commentators, and E. V. Galatians 2:2. The very strong anacoluthon is rendered more easy by putting ὁποῖοί … λαμβάνει, “whatsoever … person” in a parenthesis, and placing “to me” in the beginning of the resumptive clause, as indeed is done in the Greek, ἐμοί standing first.—R.]
Galatians 2:6; Galatians 2:6.—[Προςανέθεντο. Eillicott, “communicated;” Alford, “imparted;” Schaff, “gave no new instruction.” See Exeg. Notes.—R.]
Galatians 2:7; Galatians 2:7—[The structure is altered from the original in the E. V., “I” and “Peter” are the proper subjects of the respective clauses. “Am entrusted with” is a better rendering of πεπίστευμαι, the perfect of permanent state.—R.]
Galatians 2:8; Galatians 2:8.—Ἐνεργέω takes ἐν after it, when the meaning is “wrought in;” here it is the simple dative. The E. V. renders the same verb differently m this verse. Literally: “energized,” “gave strength to.”—R.]
Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:9.—D. E. F. G. H. and most of the Fathers have Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος. An inversion to preserve the precedence of rank. Meyer. [The reading Ἰάκωβος καὶ κηφᾶς is supported by א. B. C. K. L. and adopted by modern editors generally, on internal as well as external grounds.—R.]
Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:9.—[The order of the E. V. is an inversion of the original. The true order, given above, is found in Wickliffe’s, Tyndale’s, Cranmer’s, Bishop’s and Rhemish, with a slight variation from the above reading. The participle γνόντες is co-ordinate with ἰδόντες (Galatians 2:7). The whole passage should read thus: “When they saw that I am entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, as Peter with that of the circumcision: (For he that wrought for Peter toward the apostleship of the circumcision, wrought for me also toward the Gentiles;) and became aware of the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, who were esteemed as pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship.”—R.]
Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:9.—[Ellicott supplies here “should be apostles,” which is objectionable on historical and dogmatical grounds. Schaff: “that we should pleach the gospel for.”—R].
Galatians 2:10; Galatians 2:10.—[Ὃ αν̓τὸ τοῦτο, is stronger than “the same which.” “Which very thing” (Ellicott). Alford more literally: “Which was the very thing that I also was anxious to do.”—R.]
[Tertullian; Non separationem evangelii, nec ut aliud alter sed ut aliis alter prædicassent.—R.]
[Notice the exact use of the perfect πεπίστευμαι, “I have been, I am still entrusted with it.”—R.]
[For a compact survey of the transactions narrated in this section, see Schaff, Apostolic church, p. 249 sq.—for a valuable note against Baur’s hypotheses, p. 251 sq.—For a very thoughtful and interesting sketch of the relations between Jewish and Gentile Christianity in the first ages of the church, against the advocates of a distinctive Pauline Christianity, the reader is referred to Lightfoot, Dissertation iii. Paul and the Three, p. 283 sq.—R]
3. On one occasion (in Antioch) he therefore asserted, and, with the independence of an Apostle, dared assert, even in opposition to a Peter, the principles of his Gentile Christian preaching
11But when Peter was come [Cephas19 came] to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed [was condemned]20. 12For before that [omit that] certain [certain persons] came from James, he did eat [was eating together]21 with the Gentiles: but when they were come [Game]22 he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were [omit which were]23 of the circumcision. 13And the other Jews24 dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also [ὥστε καί, so that even Barnabas] was carried away with [by] their dissimulation. 14But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter [Cephas] before them [omit them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews,25 why compellest thou [how26 is it that thou art 15compelling] the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are [we are]27 Jews by 16nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing [yet28 knowing] that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but [ἐὰν μή, except or but only] by the faith of Jesus Christ,29 even we [we too] have [omit have]30 believed in Jesus Christ [Christ Jesus],31 that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for32 by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17But if, while we seek to be justified by [in] Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid [or Far from it]. 18For if I build again the things 19[very things]33 which I destroyed, I make [prove]34 myself a transgressor. For I 20through the law am dead [died] to the law, that I might live unto God. I am [or have been] crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; [omit;] yet not I, [it is, however, no longer I that live]35 but Christ liveth in me: and [yea] the life which I now live in the flesh I live by [in] the faith of the Son of God,36 who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead [died] in vain [without cause]37.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Galatians 2:11. I withstood him to the face, etc.—“To the face”=not behind his back, in his absence. [It does not mean “publicly‚” that is asserted below (Galatians 2:4). Some of the fathers‚ “to salve the authority of Peter” introduced the gloss κατὰ σχῆμα, “in appearance,” because he had been condemned by others. This view is opposed nobly by Augustine. See Alford and Wordsworth, in loco.—R.]
Because he was or had been condemned: the reason why Paul opposed him. It was not therefore any attack on the part of Peter himself, that occasioned Paul’s taking a stand against him. Ἀνέστην, therefore not=I withstood him, but=I took a stand against him. [Yet Peter’s conduct was an attack on gospel liberty; and Paul “opposed” sufficiently to “withstand” him.—R.]—The reason was, the indignant feeling of the Christians of Antioch, the unfavorable judgment passed upon him by them. Moreover, the scandal which he had given, was notorious, and Paul was obliged to do what he did. But he certainly did not do it out of personal irritation or from arrogance or malice; his own words prevent such a charge. For himself he did it unwillingly, would have avoided rebuking Peter “before them all.” But a definite reason, viz., regard for the brethren, the Gentile Christian church, impelled him to it. And in this there was also a command, so that even regard for Peter on the other hand, was no ground for holding back. [It must be remarked that the Greek only states indefinitely that Peter “was condemned,” by whom is a matter to be inferred. Various answers are given: by God, by his own previous conduct, by Paul himself (Alford), by the church at Antioch. The last is most probably meant, else the rebuke would not have been public. It is not necessary to suppose that only the scandal at Antioch drove Paul to this course, for the conduct of Peter was in itself reprehensible. “Had been condemned” must be preferred, if it be referred to a definite condemnation on the part of the Gentile Christians at Antioch.—R.]
Galatians 2:12. For before certain persons came from James, he was eating together with the Gentiles, i. e., with the Gentile Christians. He designates them according to their nationality, because it is on this that the matter turns. Peter therefore neglected the limitations of the Levitical law of meats. This is the simple sense of this remark. “A Jew could not without Levitical defilement eat with Gentiles” (even if these adhered to the decrees of the apostolic council). “Peter, however, had through Divine revelation (Acts 10:0.) been taught the untenableness of this isolation within the sphere of Christianity.” This Jewish law of meats he disregarded, that is he lived ἐθνικῶς καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαϊκῶς, at all events here in Antioch.—“Before certain persona came from James.” “From James” is not to be connected with “certain persons” as if=“certain adherents of James” (for “James would then be marked out as the head of a party, something which it would be neither necessary nor wise to do here”), but with “came‚” either generally=“from James‚” that is, from his circle of helpers, or=“sent by James.” But at all events they were such as held like sentiments with James, i.e., Jewish Christians, who themselves still adhered strictly to the Mosaic law, lived Ἰουδαϊκῶς καὶ οὐκ ἐθνικῶς, and who because, they felt obliged thereto as born Jews, regarded this Ἰουδαϊκῶς ζῇν as necessary for all born Jews, and accordingly for all Jewish Christians, but by no means demanded any such thing as the ἰουδαΐζειν of the Gentile Christians in Antioch, as Wieseler, perverting the state of facts maintains. They stood, therefore, upon the platform of James. “Certain persons” is not therefore= such as without ground, appealed to the authority of James; neither were they of the “false brethren” (Galatians 2:4), who occupied a very different position from James. What views they had respecting the Gentile Christians, is not stated, for these were not at all in question; it is therefore natural to assume, that their views were those of James, and that the latter, when he sent these people, still thought as he did not long before, at the council (Galatians 2:9; Acts 15:0.). [Schaff:—“It would seem from this passage that, soon after the council, James sent, some esteemed brethren of his congregation to Antioch not for the purpose of imposing the yoke of ceremonialism upon Gentile Christians—for this would have been inconsistent with his speech—but for the purpose of reminding the Jewish Christians of their duty and recommending them to continue the observance of the divinely appointed and time-honored customs of their fathers, which were by no means overthrown by the compromise measure adopted at the council. It is unnecessary therefore to charge him with inconsistency. All we can say is that he stopped half-way and never ventured so far as Paul, or even as Peter, who broke through the ceremonial restrictions of their native religion. Confining his labors to Jerusalem and the Jews, James regarded it as his mission to adhere as closely as possible to the old dispensation, in the hope of bringing over the nation as a whole to the Christian faith.”38—R.] But with Peter, as a Jewish Christian and an Apostle to the Jewish Christians, they found fault, undoubtedly on account of his eating with the Gentiles, that is, with his neglect of the Mosaic law of meats, his ἐθνικῶς ζῆν. Yet it is by no means expressly said that they reproached him with it, for “fearing them of the circumcision,” may merely mean, that he feared possible reproaches, such as those, Acts 11:3. But as he then justified himself in this, and the justification was accepted (Acts 11:18), there is the more reason to doubt whether the Jewish Christians, who came from James, really made reproaches against Peter, or even whether they would have done it, and whether it was not an empty fear on Peter’s part, which was blamed the more on this account, as a causeless denying of the convictions which he then successfully vindicated, a retreat out of weakness, from the position he had then joyfully assumed and justified, supported as he was by the experience through which God had led him. Peter must of course have feared possible reproaches to this effect: that although his conduct at that time respecting Cornelius had afterwards been approved, it would be a different thing for him now, in the presence of Jewish Christians, to live ἐθνικῶς, and moreover that, in the absence of so definite an occasion as then, he would now be regarded as one also standing outside [i.e., with the Gentile Christians.—R.], his authority with the Jewish Christians might be diminished, etc. But even if such reproaches were really made to him, these persons nevertheless are not to be regarded as agreeing with the “false brethren” and standing upon an entirely different platform from James himself, for neither Acts 11:18, nor Acts 15:0. is to be regarded as unhistorical. Out of fear, therefore, he withdrew and separated himself.—The imperfects are adumbrative, cause the events to go on, as it were, before the eyes of the reader.—Meyer.—He ate no more with the Gentile Christians, and as appears to be intimated, discontinued this without giving any explanation: he again attached himself to the Jewish Christians, that is, he behaved himself all at once as if the Jewish law of meats were still sacred in his view, inasmuch as he began again to observe it. He did not therefore give up his freer convictions, his practice alone lost its freedom, and stood therefore in contradiction with his convictions. In the act itself, there was nothing different from that indulgent regard to the prejudices of those still weak, which Paul himself so often urges as a duty. But the motive of Peter’s conduct in this case was not anxiety to avoid a possible scandal to the faith—this was not to be feared here—but the fear of men, fear of reproaches, and most likely also of losing consequence and authority. [It must be noted that such a withdrawal was a withdrawal from the very frequent agapae and the frequent Lord’s Supper. Though the decree of the Apostolic council did not command or forbid the common participation of Jewish and Gentile Christians in these services, yet Peter had thus communed with the Gentile Christians; he ceased to do so, and of course made great scandal. While not violating the letter of the decree, he yet treated these brethren as unclean.—R.]
Galatians 2:13. Paul therefore fastens on the conduct of Peter (and of the other Jewish Christians who did likewise) the sharp censure of the term ὑπόκρισις, dissimulation, and he is the more severe, because along with the consideration for the Jewish Christians, begotten of fear, there was a non consideration for the Gentile Christians; and thus they were both scandalized and perplexed, since by the change of conduct in Peter they were tempted to the thought that the Mosaic law must after all be binding. It is of course entirely incorrect to find the “dissimulation” in the former association with the Gentile Christians, as if this had been a momentary unfaithfulness towards actual Judaistic convictions.
[Even Barnabas.—“My co-laborer in the work of heathen missions and fellow-champion of the liberty of the Gentile brethren.” Schaff.—Lightfoot: “It is not impossible that this incident, by producing a temporary feeling of distrust, may have prepared the way for the dissension between Paul and Barnabas, which shortly afterwards led to their separation (Acts 15:39). From this time forward they never again appear associated together. Yet whenever St. Paul mentions Barnabas, his words imply sympathy and respect. This feeling underlies the language of his complaint here, ‘even Barnabas.’ ” Comp. 1 Corinthians 9:6, and also the mention of Mark, Colossians 4:10.—R.]
[The conduct of Peter must be judged by the facts here stated, not by a desire to advocate or deny the primacy claimed for him. The occurrence is indeed characteristic of that Peter whom the Gospels describe; “first to confess Christ, first to deny Him; first to recognize and defend the rights of the Gentiles, first to disown them practically. His strength and weakness, boldness and timidity are the two opposite manifestations of the same warm, impulsive and impressible temper” (Schaff). The fault was one of practice, not of doctrine. The receiving of the rebuke is a sign of Peter’s genuine piety. Whether he went out again and wept bitterly we know not. But there was no “sharp contention,” and Peter’s love for Paul remained. On the early discussions respecting this occurrence see Lightfoot, p. 127, sq., showing how much the church is indebted to Augustine for a correct view of it. Comp. Doctrinal Notes.—R.]
Galatians 2:14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly, etc.—We are to supply from Galatians 2:11 : “And at the same time heard the Gentile Christians expressing themselves in condemnation of it.” [The necessity of supplying this makes it the more doubtful, whether the reference there is to the “condemnation” on the part of the Gentile Christians.—R.] Πρὸς τὴν hardly =“according to,” which would be κατά, but “in the direction of,” = in order to preserve uprightly and further the truth of the gospel.
The sense, therefore, is the same as in Galatians 2:5. This agrees with the context, for Paul, in the conduct of Peter and the other Jewish Christians, beheld an infringement of the “truth of the gospel,” especially of the principle of Christian freedom founded in the gospel, on account of its effect on the Gentile Christians: “How is it that thou art compelling the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” (Meyer).—[The force of πρός is open to discussion, especially as the word ὀρθοποδεῖν is not only ἄπαξ λεγόμενον, but very rare. Lightfoot says it denotes here “not the goal to be attained, but the line of direction to be observed. See Winer, p. 424.” And Ellicott in reply to Meyer, who claims that κατά would have been used to express the idea of rule or measure, observes that the instances he quotes are all after περιπατεῖν. If the line of direction be the meaning, the E. V. is correct, and the implication is that Peter did not deviate from the “truth of the gospel,” but from the line of conduct which the truth of the gospel marked out, hence the verb retains a semi-local meaning, “walk straight.”—R.]
Before all, “very probably = in an assembly of the Church, although not convened immediately for this purpose” (Meyer)—before Jewish and Gentile Christians.—If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles: means the accustomed practice of Peter, from which he only then receded.—How is it that thou art compelling the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?—Paul shows him the set-contradictoriness of his behavior, by a kind of ironical address. “Thou thyself a Jew, livest as a Gentile—and how comes it, then, that thou coustrainest Gentiles to live Jewishly? Is not that an utter contradiction?” It is true Peter does not constrain the Gentiles directly; it is a turn which sharpens the censure; in reality, it was only an indirect constraining through the authority of the example of Peter. The opinion is, therefore, quite unfounded, which supposes that the messengers of James had preached the principle of the necessity of the observance of the law—even for Gentile Christians—and that Peter had at least tacitly supported this principle. Thereby they would have directly oppugned the view of James himself (Acts 15:0.), and Peter would have oppugned his own. His “dissimulation” at this time by no means authorizes the assumption that he had changed his view as to the indispensableness or dispensableness of the law itself.—But at all events the Gentile Christians in Antioch looked upon Peter as one who, previously not observing the Jewish law, all at once began to observe it. That it was mere “dissimulation,” and not an actual change of view respecting the law, they did not at first know; and, therefore, they might easily, even if no one attempted directly to impose the law upon them, feel constrained to regard it as something necessary, and also to guide themselves in practice according to it—at least, in this one point respecting meats. There was at all events the danger that such a moral compulsion might be exercised; and when once a single point was regarded as necessary, matters might go farther.—Against Wieseler’s explanation: “You so act that the Gentiles also must live as Jews, if they wish any longer to eat with you” (which is connected with his erroneous view respecting the journey of the Apostle narrated Galatians 2:1 sq.), let it be here remarked only: Had Peter, by his conduct, only imposed on the Gentile Christians of Antioch the necessity of again observing the decrees of the apostolic council, in order to be able to eat with the Jewish Christians, and had Paul himself so regarded it, Peter would certainly not have received this public rebuke from Paul. Peter’s conduct, his yielding from fear, would indeed have been censurable, yet the consequences of this for others could only have given occasion for a public rebuke, provided they endangered the life of faith; but on Wieseler’s supposition this could not have resulted.—’Ἰουδαΐζειν is, without doubt, different from ’Ἰουδαϊκῶς ζῇν, and is not merely another expression for this, but it is with design that Ἰουδ. ζῇν is not repeated. With Peter, at that time, a relapse into Ἰουδ. ζῇν took place—at least in practice, and through it a misleading of the Gentile Christians into ἰουδαΐζειν was to be feared. Ἰουδαϊκῶς ζῇν was in the Jewish Christian something in itself quite irreprehensible, was only a maintenance of national usage; in the Gentile Christian a Ἰουδ. ζῇν became a ἰουδαΐζειν, that is, a Judaizing, being a Judaizer. [Hence, when Peter, who had been living ἐθνικῶς, occupying the position of the Gentile Christians, began again to live Ἰουδαϊκῶς his action was constructively ἰουδαϊζειν, and a moral compulsion put upon his late associates, the Gentile Christians, to do the same.—R.] The distinction is difficult to render in a translation; it is something like, “to live Jewishly,”—“to be Jewish.”
Galatians 2:15-21. That this is a continuation of the address to Peter, is self-evident to every unprejudiced reader, and the assumption that an address to the Galatians suddenly comes in here is so utterly at variance with the context that it is unnecessary to refute it. To mention no other reasons against it, let any one read the historical narrative, extending from as far back as Galatians 1:13, up to this point, and imagine now, all at once, without any transition, an address to the Galatians, beginning, “We are, by nature, ‘Jews.’ ” This view, it is true, has found again decided advocates in Wieseler, Von Hofmann. True, on our view also, the exposition is somewhat difficult, but it commends itself too distinctly to allow us to hesitate on account of the difficulties of the interpretation. And has not this difficulty, in part, its ground in this, that Paul only cites words, spoken on another occasion, and perhaps somewhat condensed also.—At all events the words are not to be regarded as merely addressed to Peter personally. Paul passes over into a more general exposition, for the instruction of the Gentile and Jewish Christians that were then present. “He makes out of the transaction, which then arose respecting the eating or not eating with the Gentiles, a locum communem (an article of doctrine), which extends much further than the transaction itself. He speaks of the works of the law generally.”—Roos. Paul cites with such detail his words then uttered for this very reason, that the substance of what he then said corresponds so well with the purpose of his letter, suits the case of the Galatians so precisely. Of course it cannot be affirmed that Paul cites the words that he then used, with literal exactness; his expressions may have been modified to a nearer correspondence with the particular purpose for which he here adduces them, although there is nowhere in the expressions themselves any necessity for such an opinion.
Galatians 2:15. We are by nature Jews, etc.
Galatians 2:15-17 give the ground of the censure in Galatians 2:14 : we, as Jews, have the law, which, of itself, exalts us above the Gentiles, who, as “without law,” are to be regarded as “sinners;” yet we have surrendered the preëminence which we had, and emancipated ourselves from the law in the knowledge that a man is not justified by it, but by faith in Christ,—how then can one of us wish to bring the Gentiles under the law, over whom it was never in force?—would be the very obvious conclusion, which Paul, at all events, compels the hearer to draw, but he himself makes the more general, but more pointed one: How then can any one of us press the observance of the law again, as though otherwise we fell into the category of Gentiles of sinners? One who does this makes Christ thereby a minister of sin—that is, he declares, by this reëstablishment of the law, that faith in Christ itself, as it involves the giving up of the law, brings men into the category of sinners (Galatians 2:17).—Not sinners of the Gentiles.—Spoken from the national and theocratic point of view, on which Paul expressly places himself by the emphasizing of their Jewish descent. From that point of view, the Gentiles, as ἄνομοι, in contrast with the Jews, who are ἔννομοι, are, in themselves, ἀμαρτωλοί κατʼ ἐξοχήν, although it is, of course, certain that Paul, in another sense, enforces the truth that there is also an ἐν νόμῳἁμαρτ., Romans 2:12; and that, in a deeper sense, they also, as Jews (with the law), were ἁμαρτωλοί, is an essential thought of the following context, inasmuch as they found justification only through faith in Christ.
Galatians 2:16. Yet knowing that.—It is simplest to take εἰδότες δέ, “knowing that,” etc., as the protasis, so that the apodosis begins with καὶ ἡμεῖς, “we also,” and to supply ἐσμέν in Galatians 2:15. The objection of Meyer, that the statement of how Paul and Peter had come to the faith, would not be historically accurate, inasmuch as the conversion of neither had come to pass in the discursive way implied in εἰδότες … ἑπιστ., is whimsical. The foundation of their faith in Christ was the knowledge, or at least the feeling, that in this faith alone “justification” was found. Only in the measure in which they acquired this conviction, did their faith in Christ become a full, ripe faith.—A man is not justified, etc.—As Paul here is merely citing words spoken on another occasion, the doctrine of the justification of man not by works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ appears here only as a doctrinal principle of the general Pauline theology. It is uttered in a very definite manner, is almost dogmatically formulated, yet strictly speaking it is not demonstrated, but presupposed as familiar. (Chap. 3. contains not so much an elucidation of the nature of justification as a demonstration that it results from “faith,” not from “the law,” instructive as this demonstration doubtless is for the apprehension of its nature.) Hence the philological investigation of the word δικαιοῦν belongs rather to the exposition of the Epistle to the Romans. On the doctrinal conception of justification, see Doctrinal Notes below.
Looking at the present context alone, we should be disposed to refer the expression, works of the law to merely ceremonial requirements of the law; but by thus doing we should miss entirely the Apostle’s meaning. The meaning of the phrase “not justified by the works of the law” is not to be gathered from the immediate context merely; it is, as intimated above, a proposition, elsewhere set forth in detail, and only cited here with the presupposition that it is familiar.—The idea ἔργα νόμου is to be taken in the universality implied in the expression. It denotes simply works prescribed by the law, whether of a more ritual character, or, in the stricter sense, moral injunctions. For a more particular consideration, see Doctrinal Notes below.
[The E. V. renders ἐὰν μή rather weakly, “but,” since the meaning is “except,” “but only,” sola fide (Luther, Meyer). The justification is not at all by works of the law; which is also the meaning of the formal, final clause of the verse.—Διὰ πίστεως, per fidem. Faith is the means by which justification is received. Hooker: “The only hand which putteth on Christ to justification.” The Apostle also uses ἐκ with πίστεως; that preposition may imply origin, but as it is used with πίστεως in this connection, that idea is forbidden; perhaps the reason of the change was merely to make the correspondence, ἐξ ἔργων—ἐκ πίστεως. It is here used in each case with ἔργων, where the thought of origin may be implied.—We believed in Christ Jesus.—Not “became believers in” (Lightfoot), but “have put our faith in.” The preposition (εἰς) retaining its proper force, and marking not the mere direction of the belief, but the ideas of union and incorporation with (Ellicott).—There seems to be some ground for the change from “Jesus Christ” to “Christ Jesus” here; it is more elevated than the usual form (Meyer), brings the Messiahship into prominence, as “we also” refers to Paul and Peter, who were Jews (Alford). Still this must not be insisted on.—The genitives Χριστοῦ and νόμου throughout are objective genitives (Meyer, Ellicott, Alford).—R.]
For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.—[Schaff: “Literally, ‘shall all flesh not be justified,’ ‘find no justification.’ For the negation attaches to the verb, and not to the noun.” This justifies the force of ἐὰν μή above. No justification at all from works, even in connection with faith.—R.] This is founded on Psalms 143:0. In the parallel passage, Romans 3:20, ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, “in his sight,” is further added. Wieseler: “The words ἐξ ἔργων νόμου Paul has added entirely in the sense of the original passage; for when the Psalmist said, that before God no flesh shall be justified, he of course had in mind the works prescribed by the O. T. law. Since then this law prescribes not only outward works, but also holy dispositions, we must understand the latter also as included both by the Psalmist and Paul among the works of the law.”—“Shall be justified.”—“It remains undetermined whether the Apostle writes δικαιωθήσεται [future] in view of a final issue in the case of the individual or of mankind, but a final judgment is indicated by the future both here and in the original passage. Only thus, too, is there a progress of thought; otherwise the discourse would be intolerably indefinite. The entrance upon the way of faith (ἐπιστεύδαμεν) is explained from the knowledge that in the present it is the only means of becoming righteous, and the exclusion of the way of legal doing (καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων) has its ground in the unprofitableness of it, for appearing before God hereafter as righteous.” Von Hofmann.
Galatians 2:17. But if, while we seek to be justified in Christ.—“In Christ” not=through communion with Christ, ἐν Χρ. εἷναι, although of course faith brings us into inward union with Christ, but it “denotes Christ as the ground of our justification, as the causa meritoria in which it rests” (Wieseler). [The phrase ἐν Χριστῷ is a formula of such deep significance in Paul’s Epistles, that it is perhaps better always to find in it the idea of union, fellowship with Christ. Why not understand it thus: justified because in Christ by faith? See Ellicott, and compare Meyer in loco.—R.]
We ourselves also.—On our side also, so that we too came into the class of “sinners of the Gentiles.” If we came into this class in and through the effort to be justified in Christ, Christ would thus be a minister of sin, would make sinners and not “righteous,” and would therefore render a service to sin. On this interpretation of the protasis, the apodosis cannot be an interrogation (against Meyer); for from this apodosis it is now justly concluded that Christ would be the minister of sin.—God forbid negatives therefore the protasis on account of the consequence resulting therefrom—a consequence in fact utterly inadmissible. It is true, everywhere else in Paul’s writings, μὴ γένοιτο negatives a question. If it be thought on this account necessary to assume a question here, the protasis must be taken differently, somewhat, thus: “But if we, while we were seeking to be justified in Christ, were ourselves found sinners—because we would thereby declare, that the law has not availed us for justification, but that we were notwithstanding the law sinners, still needing justification—is Christ therefore a minister of sin?” Only we should then expect, as in Romans 3:3; Romans 3:5, μὴ Χριστὸς ἁμ. διάκονος; as Von Hofmann remarks. He therefore supplies εὑρέθημεν in the protasis, making it a complete sentence, and translates: “But if as those, who seek to be justified in Christ, sc., we are found, then are we also found sinners.” But this explanation is evidently forced. It must also be noted that, while Paul elsewhere only uses μὴ γένοιτο after an interrogation, he as constantly introduces that interrogation with οὖν. As a deviation from his usual practice must be admitted in any case, the further deviation, that μὴ χέν. is not preceded by an interrogation may well be conceded. But in any case the explanation is difficult. [Light foot fairly discusses the various explanations. 1. As an attack on the premises through a monstrous conclusion (as above). 2. An illogical conclusion deduced from premises in themselves correct. This view, which makes an interrogation in the last clause, is preferred by him, and by most English commentators. “ ‘Seeing that in order to be justified in Christ it was necessary to abandon our old ground of legal righteousness and to become sinners (i.e., to put ourselves in the position of the heathen) may it not be argued that Christ is thus made a minister of sin?’ This interpretation best develops the subtle irony of ἁμαρτωλοί: ‘We Jews look down upon the Gentiles as sinners; yet we have no help for it but to become sinners like them.’ It agrees with the indicative εὑρέθημεν and with Paul’s use of μὴ χένοιτο.” It paves the way for the words which follow: “I, through the law, am dead to the law.” Ἆρα, is to be preferred to ἄρα in this case. The former hesitates, the latter concludes.—R.]
Μὴ γένοιτο,39 in no way whatever is Christ a “minister of sin,” for it is not the seeking justification in Him, that makes me a sinner, but I am found a sinner in an entirely opposite case. [Lightfoot: “Nay verily, for, so far from Christ being a minister of sin, there is no sin at all in abandoning the law; it is only converted into a sin by returning to the law again.”—R.]
Galatians 2:18. For if I build again the very things I destroyed.—In this opposite case, I represent myself as a sinner, but the blame does not rest on Christ. “Build up again,” etc. Thus Paul describes the conduct of Peter, “who previously, and even in Antioch had at first declared the Mosaic law not binding, as Christians had therefore, as it were, torn it down as a now useless building; but afterwards through his Judaizing conduct (even though it did not arise from conviction), represented it again as binding, and hence, as it were, built up the demolished edifice anew.”—“The first person veils what had taken place in concreto, under the milder form of a general statement” (Meyer).—Wieseler, according to his view of the whole section, gives the sense thus: “But if we also, who seek to be justified in Christ, are convicted as sinners, that is, should sin; Christ is not therefore a promoter of sin. For then I am myself to blame for the transgression, since what I have destroyed (namely, the dominion of sin!) this I build up again.” According to this, Paul is here laying stress upon the indissoluble connection between justification and sanctification. Certainly a striking example of dogmatizing exegesis.!—I prove myself a transgressor:—i.e., of the law. In what way? we must ask, for it might be the “destroying” itself in which the sin consisted, not the “building again.” The latter certainly; in Galatians 2:19 Paul tells us why.
Galatians 2:19-21. [Bengel: “Summa ac medulla Christianismi.”—R.]
Galatians 2:19. For I through the law died to the law.—“ ‘I’ for my own part, letting my own experience speak, to say nothing of the experience of others.” Meyer. “For” introduces a proof, found in “through the law.” “Whoever has been freed from the law through the law itself, in order to stand in a higher relation, acts in opposition to the law, proves himself a transgressor if not withstanding this he returns again into the legal relation.” Meyer. Νόμος is of course in both cases the Mosaic law, since otherwise the passage would have no demonstrative force; not the law of Christ in the first case as Romans 8:2. [The distinction made by Light-foot in his notes on this passage, must be regarded. The law is here spoken of, not as to its economical purpose (as Wordsworth who limits the meaning here to the law as a covenant), but rather in its moral effects.—R.] “I through the law died to the law” that is, the law itself caused me to die to it. But what now is the meaning of 1. “I died to the law”? That thereby a becoming free from the law is affirmed is clear. But in the first place this “dying to the law” is not (with many expositors) to be construed as an activity bearing upon the law=it has come to this, that I have acquitted myself of dependence on the law, etc. The Apostle means to affirm something as having happened to him, not something as having been done by him, although of course this event has had a basis in his ethical nature. In the next place, however, the conception of dying, which is involved in the expression, is not to be at once transmuted into that of becoming free; or else justice is not done to the Apostle’s turn of thought, which here, as the sequel shows, revolves about the ideas of life and death. Compare the analogous expressions: ἀποθανε͂ιν ἁμα ρτίᾳ, νεκρ. ἁμαρτίᾳ, Romans 6:2; Romans 6:10-11, where also the Apostle, as the connection in each passage shows, means an event coming to pass through dying, Galatians 2:10 in the physical, Galatians 2:2; Galatians 2:11, in the ethical sense. Still more closely analogous is Romans 7:1 sq. In Galatians 2:4 of that passage we have the analogous expression—only there it is passive, while here it is expressed by the neuter verb θανατωθῆναι τῷ νόμῳ and in Galatians 2:1 he gives us the key to the figure in the sentence; “the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth.” The becoming free from the law is therefore, of course, the result of the dying to the law, but not immediately this itself. “Died to the law” is=I have died with this effect, that the law has lost me, who had hitherto belonged to it, that is, that its dominion over me, its claims upon me ceased, so that it could no longer urge its requirements upon me, as heretofore. While “died” of itself already intimates the legitimacy of this acquittal from the law, the complete demonstration of this is contained in the fact that this dying “to the law” has come to pass “through the law” not by a power residing outside of it has this death to the law been effected, not in any antinomistic way, not in conflict with the law, so that this would have any ground of complaint. But now the question Isaiah 2:0. how has he “through the law” died to the law? how has the “law” itself brought about in him a state of death as regards the law, and therewith a release from its dominion? Thus much, that the law leads to death, Paul plainly declares, e g. Romans 7:5; Romans 7:10-11; Romans 7:13. The middle term there is, that it is the νόμος itself which excites sin into ἀναζῇν. This thought is of obvious application hero, The explanation would then be; by the fact that the “law” brought me death, its dominion over me reached, it is true, its culmination, but thereby also was broken and done away. For with him who has died, the dominion of the law ceases—according to the principle cited above. And deducing the reason from the passage itself, we might thus state it; for the law can no more come forward with the claims that I should keep it, in order to justification, when its effect is rather death. The objection that the Apostle could not well affirm this “dying” of himself, as something actual since by his conversion he had been preserved from this effect of the law, will not hold; for Paul, Romans 7:10 affirms this very thing himself. This explanation is, however, at variance with the fact that according to Galatians 3:24, the νὁμος is, indeed παιδαγωγὸς εἰς Χριστόν, but of itself, without Christ, does not yet lead to man’s becoming free from it. Now it is true, that this passage reads as if Paul here refers the dying to the law directly to the law itself, but he then proceeds to give the elucidation of this, by giving the immediate cause of the dying, namely, “I have been crucified with Christ.” This statement therefore explains the former one. In the same way the dying unto sin, mentioned Romans 6:0 is by means of the “dying with Christ,” and in Romans 7:0 the death of Christ is made the cause of the becoming dead to the law. Thus much then is already clear, that the “law” in both cases is of course the same (Mosaic) law, but in each case it comes into view in a different relation; in νόμῳ in its requirements, in διὰ νόμου in its effect. This explains in a simple way the paradoxical expression, according to which the law appears as making free from itself. But since it is still the same law, Paul is entitled to say, that he who will nevertheless again live unto the law although “through the law he died unto the law” exhibits himself as a “transgressor” sc., of the law.
Let us now consider the first statement of the purpose of this dying namely: that I might live unto God, with the dying to the law the living to the law, has, as the very terms imply, come lo an end. As long as this existed, no living unto God was possible, but with the dying to the law every hinderance to this living unto God is removed. “Live unto God:” just as Romans 8:11. As the dying to the law may not be treated as immediately convertible into a being released from the law, obliterating the conception of dying; so on the other hand the realism of the Pauline expressions requires the like in the case of the antithetical expression: “live to God.” Paul wishes first to oppose to the being dead a being alive, therefore this means: that I might be living as regards God=with this effect, that God should have me, after the law has lost me. As from the being dead there resulted the dissolution of a connection—with the law—which had hitherto existed, so from the life there results the formation of a new connection, namely, with God. (Why precisely this results, appears first from what follows, for from the dying “to the law through the law” of itself, there would certainly not as yet result any new life at all, and especially a life for God.) Hence by “living unto God” as well as by “dying to the law” Paul wishes to express, chiefly, an event, not an activity, something which should be accomplished in him, not something which should be done by him in consequence of the dying to the law. Comp. the way in which Paul, Romans 6:11 sets forth the “living unto God” of Christians as something that actually comes to pass in their case, not as something which is as yet their task. According to this it would be about=εἰς τὸ γενέσθαι ὑμᾶς ἑτέρῳ, Romans 7:4; to belong to God, which involves both a being under God’s authority and a communion with God. So far it rather affirms the possession of a good, the attainment of a position, the gaining of a profit, than the proposal of a work. The next verse especially leads us to refer it to the full filial status in relation to God, as it appertains primarily to Christ. This filial status would then be opposed to the condition under the law. Comp. Galatians 3:23 sq. The fact that Paul here contrasts “God” and “law,” “living unto God” and “living to the law” would then be explained by the essential difference existing between the full filial position of God’s children and the state of bondage under the law. And the antithesis would be essentially the same which Paul sets forth, Romans 6:14, as an antithesis between being “under the law” and “under grace.” Life, however, is not merely a state, but essentially an activity also, actualizing itself and having permanence only as such. Hence “living to God” indicates, though not primarily, yet as immediately resulting, an activity and course of conduct with reference to God, and the more so indeed for the very reason, that by this “living to God” especially a good is gained; on which account also Paul, e.g., Romans 6:12-13, affirms as an obligation contained therein, the obligation “to yield one’s self to God.” Since he there derives this obligation from the “being alive unto God,” we should doubtless assume it here also, as a secondary idea implied in “that I might live unto God.” In the first place the expression ἵνα—statement of design—points to something, which even if it is on the one hand already given, yet on the other is also still to be looked for. And in the second place the connection points to this ethical interpretation, for Paul means to repel the allegation that by faith in Christ, by abandoning the position of the law, one be comes a sinner: and he cannot do this more emphatically than by describing the release from the law as the operation of the law itself, and as having for its purpose the living unto God. “Living unto God” then passes over into the meaning: to dedicate one’s life to God, the dative thus acquiring of course a yet fuller meaning, denoting not merely possession, but devotion, surrender to. The antithesis between “living unto God” and “living unto the law” is also to be explained as Romans 6:0. For the law leads “to sin” (and to death). The living to the law then in truth sunders from God. The “dying to the law” thus acquires the sense of dying unto sin (Romans 6:0.), though of course it is not to be identified with it.
[Ellicott thus sums up the results; while his views do not differ materially from those given above, the statement is so succinct that the substance of it may well be inserted here: 1. Law in each case has the same meaning. 2. The Mosaic law is meant. 3. The law is regarded under the same aspect as in Romans 8:7; Romans 8:13, a passage in strictest analogy with the present. 4. It was not διὰ νόμον or κατὰ νόμον but διὰνόμου, through the instrumentality of the law, that the sinful principle worked within and brought death upon all. 5. “Died” is not merely “legi valedixi,” but expresses generally what is afterwards more specifically expressed by “I have been crucified with.” 6. The dative “to the law” is not merely “with reference to,” but a species of dative “commodi:” “I died not only as concerns the law, but as the law required.” He paraphrases thus “I through the law, owing to sin, was brought under its curse; but having undergone this, with, and in the person of Christ, I died to the law in the fullest and deepest sense—being both free from its claims and having satisfied its curse.” So Lightfoot: “The law is the strength of sin. At the same time it provides no remedy for the sinner. On the contrary it condemns him hopelessly, for no one can fulfil the requirements of the law. The law then exercises a double power over those subject to it; it makes them sinners and punishes them for being so. What can they do to escape? They have no choice but to throw off the bondage of the law, for the law itself has driven them to this. They find the deliverance, which they seek, in Christ. Thus then they pass through three stages 1. Prior to the law—sinful, but ignorant of sin; 2. under the law—sinful, and conscious of sin, yearning after better things; 3. free from the law—free and justified in Christ. The second stage (‘through the law’) is a necessary preparation for the third (‘died to the law’).” So Meyer and many others, following Chrysostom in the main.—R.]
Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ.—Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι. “I have come into fellowship with Christ’s death on the cross, through faith, so that what happened to Christ has also happened to me.” The Apostle declares thereby in what way the dying to the law through the law has been effected. Christ died “through the law,” for in the crucifixion the curse of the law was fulfilled upon Him. Whoever therefore is “crucified with Christ,” has also died “through the law”=the curse of the law is fulfilled on him too. But Christ, dying through the law, died also to the law, i.e., His life of subjection to the law came to an end (comp. Galatians 4:4) even according to the principle, Romans 7:1, and the more so in His case, because it brought the curse undeservedly upon Him, and therefore forfeited its claim. As now the one “crucified with Christ” has died “through the law,” he has at the same time thereby also died “to the law”=he has, for the law, become a dead man, such an one as is no longer subject to the law, is free from it and its claims. The law over against him has no right of possession, having lost it. Comp. Romans 7:2 : “dead to the law through the body of Christ.” An equivalent sense is contained in Galatians 3:25 : “faith having come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” For “crucified with Christ” rests essentially upon “faith.” As “I have been crucified with Christ” was the proof of the precious declaration (Galatians 2:19), go Galatians 2:20 first makes clear, why in consequence of the “dying to the law through the law,” he has attained to a “living unto God.” For as it is especially true of Christ that through the law, He died to the law, so it is also especially true of Him, that this came to pass that He might live unto God. Comp. Romans 6:10. For His death on the cross was for Him the departure from that life in which He also had been subject to the law (Galatians 4:4), and through His resurrection it led in His case to the entrance into a life of another kind, into a life, in which He without any medium stood in immediate relation to God, in a pure filial relation, something which is most simply expressed by “living unto God.” Whoever now believes in Christ, participates, as in Christ’s death, so in Christ‘s new life; as he is crucified with Christ, so he lives with Christ (Romans 6:8). But Paul does not stop with this thought; he is not satisfied with a “crucified Christ” that he might live with Christ—It is, however, no longer I that live.—In his case the being “crucified with” has indeed led to a life; but what now lives in him is no more his Ego; this his Ego did live, when he was still under the law, without knowledge of Christ; it is therefore an Ego essentially linked with the law, disappearing with the legal life, so that he after the revolution which has come to pass within him through faith in Christ and the release from the law, must regard it as altogether vanished out of existence. This whole Ego has died with Christ.—But Christ liveth in me.—Another life is it, on the contrary (δέ adversative), that is now in him, the life of another personality; and this personality is Christ, viz., as one who has Himself passed through death to life. And as such He is living unto God. Therefore although living with Christ has as its result, living unto God, this must needs become far more complete by a living of Christ Himself in the man.
Yea the life which now I live in the flesh.—But while Paul has declared of himself, that Christ Himself lives in him, Christ as the risen and glorified One, he, on the other hand, knows well that even yet there appertains to him as before, a life “in the flesh,” i.e., a life of terrestrial corporeality, and so far, therefore, a yet imperfect life, which of itself stands in conflict with the life of Christ in him (δέ in ὁ δέ adversative). [It is perhaps better to regard δέ as introducing an explanatory and partially concessive clause (Ellicott). “So far as I now live in the flesh; it is still a life in faith.” Lightfoot. To avoid the repetition of “but”—the word “yea” will convey the force of the connection—“Even though I do live a life in the flesh, Christ so lives in me, that yea this very life I live by the faith,” etc.—R.] “Flesh” here docs not of course affirm an ethical defect, for he affirms this life at this very moment of himself, but only so to speak, a physical life; the opposite idea is not: in the Spirit, but: in vision, in heaven. Paul does not, however, on this account, recall what he said before, but reconciles the life “in the flesh” with the life of christ in him by I live in the faith.—“Now” is in opposition to the past time before the “dying to the law.” Now, after he has died to thelaw, he lives, it is true, even yet “in the flesh,” but he lives “in the faith.” “In the faith” is of course opposed, first of all in a restricted way, to “in the flesh,” on which account also the two phrases are conjoined; but in fact it constitutes the antithesis to the previous “living to the law.” [Not “by faith,” but “in faith,” “the atmosphere as it were which he breathed in this his new spiritual life” (Lightfoot).—R.] Of the Son of God,—Christ, we may believe, is designedly distinguished by this exalted predicate, in order to characterize faith as something great, in that it lays hold on the Son of God Himself. As if to say: what matters it that I still live in the flesh? Even in the flesh I possess through faith the Son of God! At the same time also the preposterousness of the thought, that one can become a sinner, “seeking to be justified in Christ,” [or that “Christ is a minister of sin.”—R.] is intimated. Who loved me and gave himself for me.—“It is indeed natural that I should believe on Him, since He,” etc.—and on the other hand this is a more definite statement of what faith believes.
Galatians 2:21 is a simple conclusion from what immediately precedes. Men cannot now say, that I frustrate the grace of God, for this manifested itself in the atoning death of the Son of God. But precisely in this do I believe, yea, my whole life is a life in faith thereon. Exactly the reverse: if righteousness come through the law, then Christ died without cause, needlessly, and if I through the law sought justification, I should then declare the death of Christ to have taken place in vain, and should thus reject the grace of God: but now this latter is precisely what I did not do, and therefore not the former; I cannot be reproached with this. It is to be supposed, that some accused Paul, on account of his independence of the law in his course of conduct, of a contempt of the grace of God, not recognizing, in their confusion of thought, the truth that just this self-elevation of Christ was the chief manifestation of this grace, that therefore every disparagement of that self-devotion to death, by emphasizing the law, implied a contemning of this grace. This δωρεάν is, in conclusion, a sharply trenchant word. [Meyer: “This death took place unnecessarily, if what it should effect, could be attained through the law. Erasmus is excellent: est autem ratiocinatio ab impossibili.”—R.]
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL.
1. “Controversy of Paul with Peter” is a frequent, but incorrect title of this section. It should rather be entitled: Peter’s weak yielding and Paul’s open rebuke of it. For there is not the slightest mention made of a controversy between the two, and especially none of any opposing reply provoked by Paul.
As regards the fault of Peter, the question, in what it consisted, has been answered in the main above. To express it generally, it was a practical denying of the freer, genuinely evangelical conviction, to which he had attained, and that too from an unworthy motive, namely the fear of man, a fear of the censure of legally-minded Christians (and thus at all events an ὑπόκρισς). This of itself gives an important hint as to how we are to show regard for “the weak,” and when we may, out of consideration for them, renounce some particulars of Christian freedom. It is right only when it proceeds not from the fear of men or their censure or in any other way from self-interest, but from indulgent care that scandal be not given, and conscience be not perplexed.—Peter’s conduct, however, was particularly indefensible on account of the special circumstances under which it took place; at a time when it was of moment to secure the principal of Christian liberty, “the truth of the gospel,” which through Peter’s behavior was put in jeopardy: for the Gentile Christians, who were witnesses of it, were thereby induced to suppose that the observing of the Mosaic law was something necessary for a Christian, were shaken in their previous Christian conviction. A further important hint as to this regard for the weak! it may be duty, it may also be forbidden, when the fundamental principle of evangelical freedom would thereby be rendered doubtful to any one (or when, on the other hand, it might be perverted so as to establish the legal position, and to support an attack upon evangelical liberty).
The nature of the fault determines also our judgment respecting it. It was a fault: and on this account Paul’s correction of it, and that in the Way in which it took place, i. e., publicly, before all, was warranted, nay, necessary: necessary, not so much on account of the fear of man betrayed in it, as on account of the perplexity of conscience among the Gentile Christians, which was to be apprehended. This was the reason why Paul took occasion to set forth with such distinctness the evangelical doctrine of justification by faith. That a Peter should be set right by Paul, ill accords with the Romish view of the primacy of Peter. The transaction in Antioch will therefore also be urged with propriety against the assumption of such a primacy. The narrative is also instructive for the just apprehension of the general personal characters of the Apostles, and constitutes a corrective against exaggerated notions of these, as though a shortcoming, and unwarranted step, or even a sin, were never possible in their case.—But on the other side, more must not be made of Peter’s fault than it really was. It must not be regarded as anything else than a sin of weakness. If even Peter’s denial of his Master, rightly judged, can only be regarded as such, much more, and with entire certainty must this case in Antioch be so regarded, and this case, although in some measures analogous to his denial, is much less scandalous as indeed, considering that meanwhile he had been endued with the Holy Ghost, might be expected. That he strove with the Spirit, is not even to be imagined, nam quo rectore apostoli utebantur, spiritus sanctus neque sublata illos omni virium humanarum efficientia neque ita modcratus est, ut labe quavis eximerentur vel castigationi fraternæ locus non esset (Elwert, p. 16), as little as that sins of weakness generally are impossible in those who have received the Holy Ghost. Moreover, as this lapse of Peter was a lapse in practical conduct, and not in teaching, it cannot be pretended that it overturns faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures. The apostolic dignity of Peter and of his teaching, Paul does not in the least assail, and does not speak of them as impaired; as indeed it is precisely in his teaching on this particular point that Peter here comes into view as occupying the right position, failing of faithfulness to it in his practical behavior only. But in any case, the uncertainty of the senior Apostles respecting the obligation of the law, the existence of which is plainly enough attested by the Acts, does not warrant us in drawing a conclusion as to the truth of apostolic teaching generally. There was in this matter a learning, a growth and advancement to clear knowledge of the evangelical truth: and just in this point the corrective is given and the genuine truth of the gospel shown to us by means of Paul, in whose calling we are not to see a chance, but the significant dispensation of the Head of the Church, who knew her needs. We need not therefore isolate one from the other, but as and because both are given together, they should also be taken together, and out of both together we should gain the full light of evangelical knowledge of the truth.—Least warranted of all is the misuse of this passage to maintain the existence of a standing difference and permanent ill-feeling between Paul and Peter. Their agreement of view appears in a way hardly to be expected in Peter, inasmuch as he too set forth the principle of evangelical freedom (from the law) by his eating in common with the Gentile Christians; and if in consequence of Peter’s weakness there arose a difference, nothing whatever points to anything permanent, to any deep division, but what took place in a single case was rebuked by Paul, and the unjustifiableness of this conduct openly demonstrated. The publicity of the rebuke, moreover, is by no means to be regarded merely as making it keener, but as showing no less the brotherly way in which the matter was handled, inasmuch as a reproach addressed to Peter in private would have been far more apt to make the impression of a personal strife, and had there been a deeply seated difference, it were inconceivable that Peter would have suffered himself to be thus publicly rebuked.—As it is important rightly to understand Peter’s fault, on the other hand Paul’s correction of it must not be misinterpreted; it was not an exaltation of himself, but flowed only from zeal for the “truth of the gospel,” for the confirmation of Christian consciences; and the decision with which Paul stood forth in behalf of this without fear of man, is instructive. Although, indeed, not every one is competent to such a procedure, but ordinarily only one who has a public standing, like Paul, yet the principle expressed in his procedure is important, namely, that in matters of faith, no human authorities, however high they stand, can give law, but that their acts remain always subject to the test, according to the norm of “the truth of the gospel.”—As the facts here testify against a primacy of Peter, so the
ground and warrant of the act of rebuke witness most strongly against the idea of the Papacy in general, and against everything that borders on it under the protection of the principle of authority.
[Schaff, Apost. Church, p. 258, gives the following resumé: “This event is full of instruction. We cannot, indeed, justly infer from it anything unfavorable to the inspiration and doctrine of Peter; for his fault was rather a practical denial of his real and true conviction. But it shows that the Apostles, even after the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, are not to be looked upon as perfect saints in such sense as to be liable to no sinful weakness whatever. We here discern still the workings of the old sanguine, impulsive nature of Peter, who could, one hour, with enthusiastic devotion, swear fidelity to his Master; and the next, deny him thrice. Paul, too, on his part, may have been too excited and sharp against the senior Apostle, without making due allowance for the delicacy of his position, and his regard for the scrupulosity of the Jewish converts; which certainly go far to excuse, though not to justify Peter. Then again from the conduct of Paul we learn not only the right and duty of combatting the errors even of the most distinguished servants of Christ, but also the equality of the Apostles, in opposition to an undue exaltation of Peter above his colleagues.” On the bearing of this passage against the Papal claim to infallibility, see Wordsworth, who makes the error of Peter to have been “imposing unjustifiable terms of communion.”—R.]
2. The Pauline doctrine of Justification.—We have in this section, in a short dogmatic form, the Pauline doctrine of Justification in the sentence: οὑ δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ἔργων ν́μουυ, ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως ̓Ιησοῦ Χρ., “a man is not justified by the works of the law, but [only] by the faith of Jesus Christ.”
a) The idea of “works of the law” is first to be determined. It does not, for instance, signify merely the observance of ritual prescriptions, and the reason why “a man is not justified by the works of the law,” is not that such ceremonial works are not sufficient. For then Paul would simply have directed attention from these works to others (better, or more difficult ones), and not, as he does, have diverted attention from works, altogether to something totally different, namely, “faith.” No, as the law itself contains not merely ritual prescriptions, but also precepts peculiarly ethical, undoubtedly the entirely general expression “works of the law,” also denotes works of either kind. More accurately—Paul does not divide the law, but takes the law as an integral whole, as a divine institute, which, with all its precepts, the ritual as well as the specially ethical, morally obliges man, and, as an expression of the Divine will, requires and expects obedience from him. (Therefore, even if only ritual observances were meant, yet in reality the ground of non-justification could not be found simply in the externality of these precepts; in them also God has expressed His will; their observance also is to be regarded as a moral service.) “Works of the law,” therefore, are generally all works that are done (and are) in conformity with the requisitions of the Divine law.—Yet this is only a preliminary and entirely general definition. For then the question immediately arises: But why then no justification by them? or (since the idea of “being justified” itself still awaits elucidation), why does Paul then point entirely away from them to something entirely different? for thus much at least is implied in it. The common answer is: If man only performed such “works of the law,” all would be well, he would then be justified thereby: but this he does not, and cannot do; therefore of course in this way there is no justification possible. But this answer of itself cannot satisfy; it reminds us too strongly of a lucus a non lucendo; the “works of the law” would then, strictly speaking, have their name from the fact that they are not performed, from their non-existence. On the other hand a man certainly can (even of himself) do “works of the law,” can fulfil moral demands of the law (nay, he can do that much easier than have faith). But what he thereby accomplishes, is only ἔργα, “works” (on which account Paul in the Romans instead of ἔργα νόμου uses also the abridged expression ἕργα), i.e., 1. They are only single, isolated acts of obedience, here an ἔργον, there an ἔργον, and therefore even if the particular act corresponds to the particular requirement, yet this never completely satisfies the idea of the law, as an integral whole, and all trust in these, therefore, as if one could by these isolated “works” really fulfil the will of God, is perverted trust. The whole law=God’s will, demands fulfilment. This presents the unsatisfactoriness of the works of the law more particularly as extensive. But 2. it presents it also intensively: the works, even because they are works, are only external acts of obedience. But the law demands fulfilment by the whole man. “Works of the law” can never satisfy it; and confidence in them, therefore, as if one could endure God’s judgment on the ground of these, is always unfounded. The fulfilment of the law requires first and last a temper of mind answerable thereto. In the law God requires obedience to His will: to fulfil it, therefore, man must himself be filled with the spirit of this obedience, and that not a merely external, seeming obedience, but a genuine one, whose source is in love to God. But now the fulfilment, both of the former requirement and of this letter, is shipwrecked on the sinfulness of man, in consequence of which he cannot of himself rise above that want of unity and this externality of his moral acts, in consequence of which he accomplishes only “works of the law,” and for that very reason does not attain to δικαίωσις. First of all then there would be held up before the man the duty of perfectly fulfilling the law extensively and intensively, in contrast with the mere “works of the law.” But this would really accomplish nothing, because the defect is grounded in the sinfulness of man. There is therefore either no δικαίωσις, or it must come in an entirely different way, and this way is “the faith of Jesus Christ.”
These “works of the law” Paul nowhere calls “good works:” he uses the term “good works” only in the full sense of the word, to denote works which are really good, as being works of faith; which is just what the “works of law” are not, else δικαίωσις would come from them, and Faith would be superfluous.—Far less than by these even is the name of “good works” deserved by those “works” which have come up within the Christian period and been imposed as conditions of salvation. These have been only a new form of the “works of the law,” and therefore Luther, as is well known, found in the Pauline declarations respecting these his most effective weapons against the Romish “works of the law” and the false confidence reposed in them. On the other hand, it is true, he urges most distinctly and forcibly that, as being mere human ordinances, the ecclesiastical “works of the law” do not even stand on an equality with the “works of the law” of the Jews, which at least were commanded by God, and that therefore it is so much the more perverse to trust in them. This is the Roman Catholic form of the “works of the law.” But they are perpetually undergoing new transformations, and coming up again with the old pretensions (less and less justified as these continually are), agreeably to the natural leaning of man to a righteousness of works. Especially does he find it easy (to say nothing of observances essentially and from the beginning serving this perverse end) to turn even well intended usages and institutions, in themselves salutary, into a “law,” and then to set his trust upon the observance of these. Nay, even the exercises which are meant to further the life of faith as opposed to the legal life, are themselves too often turned again into “works of the law.”
b) Signification of δικαίωσις. Passing now to δικαίωσις, the term of chief import, we ask what is the signification of this?
This question is most easily answered, if we start from Paul’s denial: “not by the works of the law.” The Jew believes that he ἐξ ἕργ. ν. δικαιοῦται. What does this mean, what is expected by the man who believes this? Evidently this belief does not imply his making to himself the ethical statement: if I do the “works of the law,” I shall be—made righteous (justus reddor), that is, by God. For certainly he who does the works of the law, does not expect a subsequent justum reddi by God; his doing the works of the law in itself constitutes him and proves him (according to the supposition) a justus. He is not therefore expecting, as necessary to this, that God shall first translate him into the moral conditions of a justus. No: the thought “justified by the works of the law” conveyed to the Jew the idea of a judgment of God pronounced upon him, as being one who accomplished the “works of the law:” and nothing can therefore be better established than the forensic, declaratory signification of δικαιοῦν: taken, in the first instance, in its most general sense. As to the precise nature of the judgment, it was primarily, simply the sentence: Thou art a δίκαιος [righteous, just man.—R.]. This was what the man needed to render complete his living “after the law,” and thus δικαίως, what he needed to make his claim before the law perfect: namely, the Divine judgment that he was thereby δίκαιος; even had he wished to derive from it nothing else than the certainty that he was δίκαιος. With this he would then have had the lofty, ennobling, and blessed consciousness of God’s taking pleasure in him, of God’s gracious dispositions towards him. But the judgment of God, we know, is never, so to speak, a mere judgment in words, but is also a judgment in deeds, that is, the favor of God to any one shows itself in actual blessing. To this, to the obtaining of the blessing of God, and averting of His curse, the expectation of him, who occupied himself with the works of the law, was directed, agreeably to the Divine promises. This blessing was, as is known, primarily a temporal one, temporal good fortune and prosperity, the dwelling in the promised land.
If we apply this to the position which the gospel, denying δικαίωσις ἐξ ἔργ. ν. assumes: “a man is justified by the faith of Christ,” the sense naturally is: the judgment is uttered respecting him who believes on Jesus Christ, that he is δικαιος. (How this is brought about, so that the sentence: Thou art δίκαιος, is itself δίκαιος, righteous, by reason of the sacrificial death of Christ, is in this passage only intimated, Galatians 2:19-21, and is elsewhere more explicitly established by Paul.) The main point is first the fact [das “dass”] of this judgment, namely that the Divine complacency and satisfaction is attested thereby: but then, as intimated above all, the whole weight falls upon the manifestation of this in act, upon the effect of this judgment, and hence, upon the certainty of Divine Blessing (instead of curse). This blessing then, it is understood, comprehends a sum of manifestations, partly internal, and enjoyed even in the earthly life, but in part such as are only realized in eternity, and make up the fruition of the heavenly “inheritance.” This elucidation makes it clear that δίκαίωσις is not to be taken as immediately identical with the forgiveness of sins; for the theory of a δικαιοῦσθαι ἐξ ἕργ. ν. implies the expectation of a δικαίωσις not connected with forgiveness of sins; since the claim is here to a justification founded on a doing of the works of the law, and not on a transgression of the law. In this justifying “by the faith of Christ” then, which becomes necessary for the very reason that, on account of our sinfulness being justified, is not possible “by the works of the law”—the forgiveness of sin, of the transgression of the law, is no doubt an integral, nay, more, the fundamental element of the δικαίωσις, it is in the full sense an Act of Pardon.—The elements into which the δικαίωσις resolves itself, or, if the phrase is preferred, the consequences which grow out of the δικαίωσις, are then found in detail (partially at least), in chap. 3, (and also in chap. 4), where the reference to the “Blessing,” in opposition to the “curse” (agreeably to our exposition), as well as to the “inheritance,” is instructive. And if at the beginning of chap. 3 the receiving of the Holy Ghost is described as an effect of “faith” (as opposed to the works of the law), it is unwarrantable to urge this against the forensic, declaratory sense of justification, as if it signified an internal transformation, a translation from the flesh into the Spirit, etc. For the immediate reference here is to the receiving of the Spirit as a Divine blessing, the communication of a gracious benefit, as a sign and evidence of the Divine good will, an evidence of pardon. This gift of the Spirit, it is indisputably true, creates a new life, and it is given to this end, but this view is second in order.—Nay, this new life itself is also to be regarded as a Divine grace. Δικαιοῦν therefore is an effective act only in the above named sense, that God’s approving judgment is shown also in act, or that God’s judgment consists in real blessings. It is not an effective act in the sense that δικαιοῦν of itself signifies an infusio justitiæ of any sort, new life, or the like.—Unquestionably the “faith of Jesus Christ” leads not merely to δικαίωσις, but also to a new “living with Christ,” which is grounded upon a “dying with Christ” (of which there is a brief mention of this section Galatians 2:19-20). But this is not comprehended in δικαίωσις as Paul uses it; for this idea he has the entirely different turn of thought and expression quoted above. Therefore no one should confound what Paul expressly keeps apart (e.g., as he plainly does in the relation of Romans 6:0 to the preceding chapters). Δικαιωθῆναι is not identical with the origination of a new life. In this passage especially (Galatians 2:19 sq.) Paul’s allusion to the new life that had arisen in him through faith in Jesus Christ, serves, strictly speaking, only as a reason why he no longer seeks δικαίωσις through the “works of the law,” but through faith in Christ. Through the crucifixion with Christ the man of the law has been slain in him, and a new man has arisen who lives in “faith in Christ.” The new man therefore is he who knows his δικαίωσις to be grounded on faith in Christ. It is a sign of the new man, it belongs to his nature to live “in the faith of Jesus Christ,” and to seek and find in that, instead of in the law, his δικαίωσις. But it does not follow from this that the δικαιωθῆναι means the same as to become a new man.
But, allowing that δικαίωσις is not to be identified with the origination of a new life, does not the latter precede the δικαίωσις, and is it not, not unfrequently, the material ground of it? This brings us
c) To the idea of “faith,” and its relation to justification. “The faith of Jesus Christ” leads to justification, and this alone does not the works of the law, is what Paul declares with such distinctness. But in what way? Has Faith this effect inasmuch as, according to what has been touched upon above, the believer appropriates to himself the death and the life of Christ = the old man is slain and a new one planted in him, so that God, with reference to this, even though the new life is only in its beginning, yet recognizing in the beginning the guarantee of the rest, acquits him of sin, and bestows upon him blessing and grace, that is justifies him in the forensic sense, and then implants in him still further such life, with the effective method of the justification? This must be denied decidedly: for this simple reason, that otherwise the ground of justification, in the mind of God, would consist in something else than that which the faith of the believer apprehends as its ground, and so his faith would really be an illusion. For 1. “The believer believes on Christ,” is equivalent to saying that he recognizes in Christ, and particularly in Christ’s sacrificial death, the ground of his justification. 2. The believer, through his faith in Christ, undoubtedly comes to a new life, but this life is and abides, as our passage itself shows, essentially and above all a life in faith, and in faith on Christ’s death (Galatians 2:20); in the conviction of being justified before God by this death, from which then follows a life according to God’s will in the special ethical sense, and transformation of the whole direction of the will. The real ground of justification, therefore, cannot consist in the believer’s new life itself, but in that in which he himself, renouncing the works of the law, seeks and continually finds it, namely, in Christ’s atoning death. Else were he entangled in a delusion. And faith justifies simply because it is, as it were, our unreserved assent to the reconciliation already effected in Christ. It needs only that, for through the atoning death of Christ, provided any one will not deny its value, the grace of God is already won for us all; therefore, there remains nothing on our part but to say Yes to it (manus apprehendens). Without this, that grace cannot become our own; through it, it does become our own, since an earning of it, or a making ourselves worthy of it, is no longer needful; but, on the contrary, every such thought derogates somewhat from the merit of Christ. Nothing further then is needed than just this “believing;” we need not fancy this too little when taken in its simple sense = “to trust,” “to place confidence in,” and we need not suppose we must first make its idea as it were more complete by taking in its effects, in order to be able to acknowledge faith as the condition40 of justification. Were faith to be made more than the condition of justification, were it to be made its ground, we might intensify its idea as much as we would, it would still be too little. But now, as on the one hand, Faith utters its Amen to the reconciliation accomplished in Christ, and thus makes the man partaker of it,—that is, justifies him, so does it also lay hold of this death itself, which has wrought for it so great a benefit = the man who has heretofore lived, dies with Christ and through Christ, but there comes instead (not out of faith, but out of Christ, yet not without faith), a new man, who lives to God, but ever henceforth seeks the ground of God’s favor in nothing else than in Christ. This trust comes more and more completely into exercise with the new life that springs up, instead of being now superfluous. (This is the double hand of faith.)
By what is said above, the idea of faith is not in any way unduly weakened. Even though man can do nothing more than apprehendere what is in God and Christ, yet this very apprehendere is the greatest and especially the hardest thing that (sinful) man can do. For it implies nothing less than a giving of all honor to God, and not to one’s self, a willingness to renounce one’s own reason, one’s own merits, one’s own will. Hence, even this man cannot have of himself, but God must bring him thereto. And he does it by the pedagogy of the “law” “unto Christ.” On this, see the next chapter, although it is already intimated in Galatians 2:19 of this.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Galatians 2:11-13.—Starke:—The Apostles also had their faults, and sometimes committed great errors of conduct (1 John 1:8). What? Are ministers then, whose authority is so much less than that of the Apostles, to be expected not to err and sin? Therefore, follow them no further than they follow Christ.—Even though a thing be done with good intention, yet, so far as it is wrong in itself, or as any scandal arises thereby, it cannot be excused or defended by its good intention. When of two evils one must be chosen, it is better to let a scandal arise than to do anything that may prejudice evangelical truth.—Even children of God and great saints are capable of being very easily and suddenly surprised and overcome by the fear of man, when they do not sufficiently watch over themselves.—Hedinger:—When faults, scandals in doctrine and life are prevalent, it is not for us to be silent, to strike sail and run before the wind, but to stand fast in our place.—Quesnel:—The higher one stands, the more measured and guarded his conduct should be.
[Calvin:—How cautiously we ought to guard against giving way to the opinions of men, lest we turn aside from the right path! If this happened to Peter, how much more easily to us.—Luther:—Such examples are written for our consolation. If Peter fell, I may likewise fall. If he rose again, I may also rise again. This comfort they take away, who say, the saints do not sin.—This is a wonderful matter! God preserved the church, being yet young, and the gospel, by one person. Paul alone standeth to the truth, for he had lost Barnabas, his companion, and Peter was against him. So sometimes one man is able to do more in a council than the whole council besides.—R.]
[Burkitt:—Such as sin openly, must be reproved openly.—No bands of friendship must keep the ministers of God from reproving sin. A notorious fault must be reproved with much boldness and resolution. If such as are eminent in the church fall, they fall not alone; many do fall with them.—What a constraining power there is in the example of eminent persons. He is said to compel, in Scripture, not only who doth violently force, but who, being of authority, doth provoke by his example.—The errors of those that do rule, become rulers of error. Men sin through a kind of authority, through the sins of those who are in authority.—R.]
[How many rejoice at Paul’s defence of the liberty of the gospel against Peter’s weakness, who themselves will not receive rebuke as Peter did—nay, are very popes at heart. For there are popes in pews as well as in pulpits, besides the pope who openly claims to be such; Christian liberty suffers from them all.—The fear of man, of popular opinion often becomes to us as authoritative as decrees and Papal bulls to others.—Peter will not commune with Gentile Christians longer; so he might act if he would, as Peter, but as an Apostle, he thus made terms of communion against the truth of the gospel. He was condemned; do we never seek to bind the conscience not only “in meats and drinks,” but as respects communion with other Christians?—When such conduct ceases to be a private choice, and becomes public scandal, it should be rebuked by one set for the defence of the truth of the gospel.—The yet remaining power of narrow national and social and religious prejudices in those who profess Christ as “all and in all.” How strong in Peter; once so strong in Paul, but now crucified with Christ.—R.]
Galatians 2:14. Spener:—The whole life of Christians has, besides God’s glory, the end and aim that the truth of the gospel and pure doctrine may be established; those sins, therefore, are great above others, whereby any may be misled as to the truth of the gospel.—Starke:—So soon as it is taught by words or deeds that anything more is necessary to salvation than the grace of God and faith, so soon is the truth of the gospel wounded.—In the matter of scandals, one who either maliciously or heedlessly causes them, has justly reckoned against him and imputed by God, what thereafter arises out of them, and thus the sin may become more grievous through its consequences.—Rieger:—O God! if I ever err, give me a frankspoken Paul to warn me and make me on the spot or afterwards as mild in yielding, as Peter !—Heubner:—Things that trouble peace may arise even among children and messengers of God. In Acts 13:13; Acts 15:31, similar things are mentioned. Behold the imperfection of the earthly life! only above is harmony forever undisturbed. The kingdom of Christ, nevertheless, advances even through weak instruments.
Public rebuke: 1. admissible, yes, necessary, when anything has been done that perplexes consciences; 2. how shall it be conducted? Undoubtedly by free exposition of its evil consequences, but then chiefly by renewed and more thorough assertion of the truth of the Gospel: not with personal reproaches; and above all, in brotherly love; 3. difficult; therefore examine thyself well, whether thou be called or at all events fitted therefor, that thou destroy not more good than thou restorest; and if thou perceivest thyself not skilled, leave it: for after all it is not thou that rebukest and God knows well enough how to choose His own instruments. In all cases do it not without earnest looking up to God, that in the discharge of it He will keep thee as from the fear of man, so none the less from vanity, haughtiness and a loveless temper.
Galatians 2:15. Starke:—The preëminence which we who are born of Christian ancestry have above others, must not be misused to the prejudice of divine grace: we must be none the less certain that the grace of Christ alone, not our descent from Christian parents, can save us.
Galatians 2:16. Luther:—Understand we this article rightly and purely? Then have we the true heavenly sun. But if we lose it, we have nothing else than a hellish darkness.—A troubled, wretched conscience should keep no thought or remembrance of the law, nor should oppose to the anger and judgment of God anything else than the sweet comforting word of Christ, which is a word of grace, of forgiveness of sins, of everlasting life and blessedness. But to do this is especially hard. For the fearfulness of the conscience keeps us from well apprehending Christ, and temps us often to let Him go, and to fall back upon the thought of law and sin.—As a Jew, through the works which he does after God’s law, cannot be justified, how then should a monk be justified, by his order, a priest by his authority, a philosopher by his skill and wisdom, a sophistical theologian by his sophistry? Wise, pious, and righteous as men may become on earth through their reason and God’s law, yet they are by all their works, merits, masses, and by the best of all their righteousness and acts of worship, not righteous before God.—Rieger:—What thou art by nature and canst boast concerning thy good bringing up, thy refined education, thy works of the law, distinguish thee doubtless above many others. Thou art not bidden to throw that entirely away. What of quiet days, and advantage to thy health, and the like this secures to thee, enjoy. But into the secret chamber of judgment, where God and the conscience have to do with one another concerning the forgiveness of sins, this is not to intrude. Through no work of the law shall we ever bring it to pass that God will justify us, forgive our sins, bestow on us access to His grace, and the hope of future glory; that we learn alone from God’s word and promise in Christ.
Galatians 2:17. Rieger:—If I would suffer this thing again to become uncertain to me, namely, that I, leaving all works behind, should be justified through Christ alone; if I would be mistrustful about that, as if I had brought myself into sin by such a disparagement of works; if I fell back again upon works, as chanced to Peter, I should make Christ a minister of sin.—Luther:—Every one who teaches that faith in Christ doth not justify, unless a man also keep the law, such a one makes Christ a minister of sin, i.e. he makes out of him a law-teacher, who teaches just that, and nothing else that Moses teaches. So can Christ then be no Saviour and grace-giver, but would be only a cruel tyrant, who required of us merely impossible things, not one of which any man can fulfil. [For the other view of this passage see Exeg. Notes.—Burkitt:—The Apostle rejects the inference of the adversaries of the doctrine of justification by faith with the greatest abhorrence and detestation. It is no new prejudice, though a very unjust one, against this doctrine of justification by faith alone, that it opens a door to licentiousness and makes Christ the minister of sin.—R.]
Galatians 2:18. Starke:—Teachers should take good care, that what they tear down with one hand, that they may not build up again with the other.
Galatians 2:19. Rieger.—I have not run away from the law like an escaped rogue. It has cost a death, I have made trial of the law before, and learnt well, how far the law carries us, and what is impossible to it. But now, as in the case of a marriage dissolved by death, I am lawfully divorced from the law. I have no desire to knit this bond again.—Luther:—St. Paul could have said nothing of mightier force against the righteousness that is supposed to come through the law, than just what he here saith: I have died to the law, I have nothing at all more to do with it, it concerns me nothing, nor can it justify me.—These words are most full of comfort, and let them come in mind to any one in time of temptations and afflictions, and be in his heart rightly and thoroughly understood. Such a one would without doubt be well able to stand against all danger and dread of death, against all manner of terrors of conscience and of sin, though they fell as vehemently upon him as ever they could.—Happy he who, when his conscience falls into distress and temptation, that is, when sin assails and the law accuses him, then can say: What matters that to me; for I have died to thee. But if thou wilt ever dispute with me concerning sins, go, bury thyself with the flesh and its members, my servants pass then in review, plague and crucify them as thou wilt; but me, the conscience, it is for thee to leave, in peace as queen. For thou hast no concern with me since I have died to thee and live now to Christ.—It is a strange, curious, and unheard of speech, that to live to the law is as much as to die to God, and to die to the law as much as to live to God. These two sentences are completely and entirely athwart the reason, therefore also no sophist as law teacher can understand them. But do thou give diligence that thou learn well to understand them, namely thus, that who now will live to the law, that is, practise himself in its works, and keep the same, in order that he may thereby be justified, such a one is a sinner and abides a sinner, and therefore condemned to everlasting death and damnation. For the law can make him neither righteous nor blessed, but if it begins to accuse him in right earnest, it only kills him. Therefore to live to the law is, in truth, nothing else than to die to God, and to die to the law is nothing else than to live to God; now to live to God, this is to become righteous through grace and faith on Christ, without any works or law.—Starke:—The end of our freedom from the law is not, that we may live to ourselves, but that we may live to God and Christ.
Galatians 2:20. In Starke:—Christ on His cross was to be regarded as the surety and head of the whole human race; therefore, in His person the whole human race was also crucified. Especially have believers part in the death of Christ, because faith brings with it a perfect union and fellowship between Christ and the faithful.—Berlenb. Bible:—Faith binds us to the cross of Christ, and there nothing of the old man will remain and be spared. Faith and the cross are to one another very near. Therefore, worldly wisdom turns its back on faith. Many with their faith will even separate the cross from itself; they make of faith a cross before the cross, and say of the other, away, away with it!—This is the method of stepping over from the law to the gospel, only through the death of the old Adam, and his peculiar life. It makes a huge corpse. “I live.”—No more after my own willing and working, but in another spirit. We must lose ourselves. A man lives then most blessedly, when he lives not to himself. There must be in the heart another I. The old I must lose itself. But what says the self-love and selfishness that would gladly keep its life, and seek in everything what pleases it, that will not hate its own soul, affections, desires, dispositions, and sensual cravings Its word is: That am I! that is from me! that is in me! therefore, that is mine! that befits me! that pleases me! that is so with me! It demands, therefore, from God and man rest, life, love, honor, obedience, trust, help, assistance, comfort, and enjoyment. O what a heavy stone of stumbling is self-love in Christ’s way!—[Bunyan:—They only have benefit by Christ to eternal life, who die by His example, as well as live by His blood; for in His death was both merit and example; and they are like to miss in the first, that are not concerned in the second.—R.]
Luther:—The very life that I live is Christ Himself, and therefore Christ and I are in this matter altogether one thing. None the less, it is true, there remains outwardly cleaving to me the old man that is under the law, but so far as concerns this matter, namely, that I be justified before God, Christ and I cannot but be bound in the closest wise together, so that He lives in me and I again in Him.—Christ and my conscience should become one body, so that I should keep nothing else before my eyes than Jesus Christ. But if I turn my countenance away from Christ, and look alone upon myself, it is at once all over with me. For then straightway flashes into my mind: Christ is above in heaven, and thou here below on earth, how wilt thou now find the way up to Him? Then the reason quickly answers: I will lead a holy life, and do what the law bids me, and so enter into life. But when I thus look upon myself, and consider only what I am, or what I ought to be, and what I am bound to do, I lose Christ forthwith out of my sight, who yet alone is my righteousness and life; but when I have lost Him, there is no longer either help or counsel, but at the last desperation and eternal damnation must needs follow.—Berlenb. Bible:—Christ is life not for Himself alone, but a benefit that willingly and freely communicates itself. Where now it finds a man who hates and forsakes his own life, and lives no longer in his own self-love, in him Christ lives.—Rieger:—If a man should hear of the fellowship of the cross of Christ alone, a man might form to himself too joyless an image of my religion; but it is also a fellowship with His life. And my life in the flesh, my tarrying upon this battlefield of sin and grace, is given me for a proof how the Son of God once made a journey through the world, and remained constant to His Heavenly Father.
[John Brown:—Paul here declares his experience. The law has no more to do with me, and I have no more to do with it in the matter of justification.—Christ died and in Him I died; Christ revived and in Him I revived. The law has killed me, and by doing so, it has set me free from itself. The life I now have, is not the life of a man under the law, but the life of a man delivered from the law.—Christ’s relations to God are my relations. His views are my views; His feelings my feelings. He is the soul of my soul, the life of my life. My state, my sentiments, my conduct are all Christian.—“It is but right that I should be entirely devoted to Him who devoted Himself entirely for me.”—R.]
Luther:—It is very true that I still live in the flesh, but be it now what life it may, that is still in me, I count it yet for no life at all; for it is, if one will view it aright, indeed no life, but rather a mask, under which another lives, namely Christ, who is truly my life, that thou canst not see, but hearest it alone. I live, to be sure, in the flesh; but I live not from the flesh or after the flesh, but in faith, from faith, and according to faith.—“Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” With these words Paul describes in most comforting wise Christ’s office and priesthood. This now is His office, that He should reconcile us with God, give Himself up for our sins, &c. Therefore, thou must not make of Him a new law-giver that does away the old law and establishes a new in its place. Christ is no Moses, no taskmaster and lawgiver, but a grace-giver and compassionate Saviour. He is nothing else than a purely measureless and overflowing compassion, that suffers itself to be bestowed upon us, and also bestows itself. Setting forth Christ after such a way, thou rightly depictest Him. But if thou suffer Him to be portrayed to thee in other guise, thou mayest, in the time of temptation, be easily and quickly overthrown.—These words of Paul are an excellent example of a genuine and assured faith.—Accustom thyself to this, that thou apprehend this brief word, “me,” with certain faith, and doubtest not thereof, that thou also art in the number of those who are named with this little word “me.” For, as we cannot deny that we are one and all sinners, so can we also not deny that Christ died for our sins, that He might justify us through His death. For surely He has not died for this, that He should justify those that were righteous before, but that He should help poor sinners. Because then I feel and confess that I am a sinner, why should I not, on the other hand, also say that I am righteous because of Christ’s righteousness, especially because I hear that He has loved ME and given Himself for ME. St. Paul believed it steadfastly and assuredly, and, therefore, also does he speak of it so freely and confidently. But may He who hath loved us and given Himself for us, bestow on us grace, that we may be able, if only in part, to do the like and speak thus concerning ourselves.—[Lightfoot:—Paul appropriates to himself, as Chrysostom observes, the love which belongs equally to the whole world. For Christ is, indeed, the personal friend of each man individually; and is as much to him as if He had died for him alone.—R.]
Galatians 2:21. Starke:—The rejection of the grace of God, may take place: 1. by a denial of the perfect satisfaction of Christ; 2. by setting along side of it our own merits, worthiness and righteousness, as Popery does in doctrine, and many even in our churches do in fact; 3. by abusing this grace to favor presumption, and to supersede sanctification; 4. when even sincere souls, in the feeling of their unworthiness, are much too timorous to appropriate grace to themselves, and think they must first have arrived at this or that degree of holiness, before grace can avail them any thing; 5. when tempted ones from a lack of feeling conclude that they have fallen out of grace again.
Luther:—The righteousness that comes from the law is nothing else than mere contempt and rejection of God’s grace, whereby the death of Christ becomes unworthy and unavailing. Who is, indeed, so eloquent that he can sufficiently portray and bring to light, what it is to reject the grace of God? or to make out that Christ has died in vain? It is hard to have to talk of any useless dying; but to say that Christ has died in vain, that is too much, that is quite too villanous a word, for it is nothing less than to say that Christ is wholly unprofitable, is nothing worth.—If any one will make out Christ’s death an unprofitable thing, he must also make His resurrection, His glorious triumph over sin, death, etc., His kingdom, heaven, earth, God Himself, God’s majesty and glory, and in brief all things together contemptible and useless.—These great, mighty, and terrible thunderclaps, which St. Paul in his writings brings down from heaven against our own righteousness, that comes from the law, ought, by good right, to terrify us from it.—When the world hears such a charge, it will not at all believe that it is true; for it does not allow that a man’s heart could be so wicked that he should reject the grace of God, and count Christ’s death a despicable thing, and yet for all that, this sin is of all in the world the most common. Whoever will be righteous outside of faith in Christ, such a one casts away God’s grace, and despises the death of Christ, though in words he speak as highly and honorably thereof, as ever he knows how to speak.
Galatians 2:19-21. To live to God, our end; 1. What is thereby required? 2. Condition of accomplishing it; the way thereto is dying—to the law: this again is possible only through being crucified with Christ.—To be crucified with Christ: 1. something difficult, requires nothing less than that we place ourselves under God’s sentence of condemnation; 2. indispensably necessary: else there can be no life to God.—To die with Christ—to live to God; this is the pregnant definition of true Christianity.—I live, yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me: a bold expression; but so must it be in the case of a Christian; one’s own Ego must vanish, and in place of it Christ must rule in us.—Christ lives in me: 1. can we say so, when even yet there is much sin in us? 2. When can we say so? when at least it is He, in whom alone we seek our righteousness? The Christian’s life a double life: a. Proof: 1. the joyful attestation: Christ lives in me; 2. he must humbly acknowledge and in manifold ways experience; I yet live in the flesh. b. What is to be done, that he, so long as he lives and whatever his life in the flesh, may not live to the flesh, but to Him who, etc.—Living in faith on the Son of God, who loved us, and gave Himself for us: 1. the blessed prerogative, 2. the sacred duty of the Christian.—In Lisco:—The life in the faith of the Son of God: 1. what it presupposes in us. Galatians 2:19 : the death of the old natural life—the being crucified with Christ; 2. wherein it essentially consists? Galatians 2:20 : in entire self-surrender to the Son of God, in being filled and permeated with His love, which to the true Christian is the one moving spring of all his actions; 3. what value has it? Galatians 2:21, it serves to the glory of the grace of God, and the praise of the death of Christ.
To say Christ has also loved me, and given Himself for me, is the height of faith’s achievements, simple as it appears.—Reject not the grace of God! an admonition as earnest as needful.—To reject God’s grace the greatest of all sins. When is this done? (see above.)—Christ died in vain? 1. that cannot be; such a deed of love must have a high end; 2. and yet for how many has He died in vain!—Christ would have died in vain! the severest condemnation possible of every kind of righteousness of works.—To seek righteousness from works; as foolish (for Christ cannot have died in vain), as simple (it rejects that which was God’s own most glorious work of Love). [“Then Christ died without cause.” Did such a person die. Then while we may account for His life by other theories, there is no sufficient reason for His death, save that which Paul preached: Full pardon, entire salvation, to every one who by faith lays hold of Christ as dying for him. Any other view is inconsistent with God’s wisdom, frustrates God’s grace as well.—Self-salvation must ever deny a sufficient purpose in that death.—R.]
Galatians 2:11; Galatians 2:11.—Here also the preponderance of authority is in favor of Κηφᾶς. [As also in Galatians 2:14. The simple past “came” is the best rendering of the aorist ἦλθεν.—R.]
Galatians 2:11; Galatians 2:11.—[Κατεγνωσμένος ἦν; “was condemned.” The E. V., follows the Vulgate: reprehensibilis. which is incorrect. Some adopting a slightly different exegesis, render “had been condemned,” but this is not so literal. See Exeg. Notes. Schmoller renders ἀνέστην: entgegentrat, “opposed,” but “withstood” does not seem too strong.—R.]
Galatians 2:12; Galatians 2:12.—[The imperfect συνήσθιεν: expresses the idea of “habitual eating in company with.” So too the other verbs, ὐπέστελλεν and ἀφώριζεν; “he began to withdraw himself.” etc.; but to express this fully would require a periphrasis in English. “Himself” is the object of both these verbs.—R.]
Galatians 2:12; Galatians 2:12.—Ἦλθεν instead of ἦλθον, probably an old mistake, from Galatians 2:11, is found in א. B. [The latter reading is adopted by modern editors on good MSS. authority.—R.]
Galatians 2:12; Galatians 2:12.—[“Which were” should be italicised if retained.—R]
Galatians 2:13; Galatians 2:13.—א. adds πάντες. [No other authority; א3 disapproves.—R.]
Galatians 2:14; Galatians 2:14.—“Καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαϊκῶς is wanting in Clar., Germ. [two very ancient Latin versions.—R.], Ambrosiaster. Sedulius. Agapetes: but the authorities are much too weak to permit us, with Semler and Schott, to take the words as a gloss.” Meyer. [There is some doubt respecting the proper order; א. A. B. C. F. G., Lachmann. Meyer, Ellicott, Alford (in later ed.), Lightfoot read: καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαϊκῶς ζῇς, while D. E. K. L., most cursives, Rec., Tischendorf, Scholz, Wordsworth have ζῇς κ. οὐχ Ἰουδ. The former seems best sustained. The want of two adverbs equivalent to ἐθνικῶς and Ἰουδαϊκῶς makes it impossible to render literally in English, but the E. V. gives the correct
Galatians 2:14; Galatians 2:14.—Πῶς, not τί. is the correct reading. So Lachmann, א. [A. B. C. D. F., most cursives, Meyer and the majority of modern editors. Rec. (followed by E. V.) and Tischendorf have τί.—R.]
Galatians 2:15; Galatians 2:15.—[The insertion of “who are” in the E. V. has made this passage very obscure. “We” might be taken as the subject of “believed” (Galatians 2:16), and all between as explanatory, but if “are” be supplied, the meaning is sufficiently clear. Ellicott adds “truly.”—R.]
Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:16.—“Δέ is wanting in Elz., but against the weight of authority. The omission was occasioned by taking εἰδότες as a definition of what precedes [i.e., “sinners of the Gentiles”—R.], with which construction δέ would not agree. The omission was furthered by supposing a new sentence to begin with εἰδότες.” Meyer. [Retaining δέ, the pointing of the E. V. is correct: “We are Jews,” etc., “yet (δέ slightly adversative) knowing,” etc.—R.]
Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:16.—[Tischendorf omits Χριστοῦ, but apparently on insufficient authority. The omission probably arose from an attempt to avoid the frequent repetition of Χριστός, which occurs three times in this verse. Some read Χρ. Ἰησοῦ.—R.]
Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:16.—[Ἐπιστεύσαμεν, “believed,” better than “have believed.”—R.]
Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:16.—[Here the order Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν is better supported.—R.]
Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:16.—[Rec., C. E. K. L., Ellicott, Wordsworth read διότι, which was probably imported from Romans 3:20; ὅτι is supported by א. A. B. F. G., Lachmann, Tischendorf, Meyer, Alford, Lightfoot.—The order of Rec., οὐ δικ. ἐξ ἔργ. is not well sustained.—R.]
Galatians 2:18; Galatians 2:18.—[Literally: “if what things I destroyed, these I build again.”—R.]
Galatians 2:18; Galatians 2:18.—[Συνιστάνω is adopted by modern editors on uncial authority; συνίστημι of Rec. is probably a grammatical gloss.—R.]
Galatians 2:20; Galatians 2:20.—[The pointing of the E. V. alters the meaning, and weakens the force of this passage, by making two clauses where there is really but one. As, however, δέ occurs three times in quick succession, and with a variation in its force, elegance demands this translation: “It is, however (δέ), no longer I that live, but (δέ) Christ liveth in me, yea, (δέ resumptive) the life,” etc.—R.]
Galatians 2:20; Galatians 2:20.—Lachmann has τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριοστοῦ, following B. D. F. G. “It is highly probable that this reading originated in the transcriber’s passing immediately over from the first to the second τοῦ, so that only τοῦ θεοῦ was written; as what followed was incongruous, και Χριστοῦ was inserted. Meyer.
Galatians 2:21; Galatians 2:21.—[Δωρεάν may be more properly rendered: “Without cause.” Tittmann, sine justa causa, not frustra, sine effectu. So Meyer, Ellicott, Lightfoot.—R.]
[When we consider this position of James, and look at the Epistle which bears his name, we are led, not to doubt its inspiration and place in the canon, but rather to believe that it must be inspired, else it would have differed more from the writings of Paul, and that its place in the canon is a proof of the wisdom of God, who made His Word complete, by making it many-sided, and yet never contradictory.—R.]
[Wordsworth: “On this formula, derived from the LXX. it is to be observed that the Septuagint render—(1) אָמֵן (Amen) by γένοιτο. See the remarkable instance in Deuteronomy 27:15-18, etc.; and (2) they render חָלִילָה, i.e., absit, literally profanum sit, by μὴ ένοιτο (Genesis 44:7; Genesis 44:17; Joshua 22:29). Μὴ γένοιτο is s mething much more than a direct negation, such as ‘No verily.’ It is a vehement expression of indignant aversion, reprobating and abominating such a notion as that by which it is looked. And therefore the English, God forbid! properly understood, i.e., God forbid that any one should so speak, is a fit rendering of it. It is used fourteen times by St. Paul (ten times in the Epistle to the Romans, thrice to the Galatians, and once in 1 Corinthians), and is generally employed by him to rebut an objection supposed by him to be made by an opponent, as here.”—R.]
[There need be no mistake about the meaning of “condition” here: conditio sine qua non.—R.]
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Galatians 2". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25