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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Galatians 1

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 1

παύλου ἐπιστολὴ πρὸς γαλάτας

A B K א, and many min., also Copt., give simply πρὸς γαλάτας, which—doubtless the earliest superscription—is adopted by Lachm. and Tisch.

Galatians 1:3. ἡμῶν] is wanting only in min., Damasc. Aug. (once); whilst A, min., Copt. Arm. Vulg. ms. Chrys. Ambrosiast. Pel. Ambr. (once), Fulg. place it after πατρός. But as in the other epistolary salutations there is no ἡμῶν after κυρίου, it was sometimes omitted, sometimes moved to the position, which it holds in the other epistles, after πατρός (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2, et al.).

Galatians 1:4. περί] Elz. has ὑπέρ, in opposition to A D E F G K L א, and many min., also Or. Theophyl. Oec. This external evidence is decisive, although Paul has written ὑπὲρ τ. ἁμαρτ. only in 1 Corinthians 15:3.

Galatians 1:6. χριστοῦ] is wanting in F G, Boern. Tert. (twice), Cypr. (twice), Lucif. Victorin. But with the erroneous (although very ancient) connection of χριστοῦ with καλέσαντος, χριστοῦ, since the καλεῖν is God’s, could not but give offence; and hence in 7, 43, 52, et al., Theodoret, Or., it is changed for θεοῦ.

Galatians 1:10. εἰ ἔτι] Elz. Scholz, Tisch. have εἰ γὰρ ἔτι. But γάρ is wanting in A B D* F G א, min., Copt. Arm. Vulg. It. Cyr. Damasc. and Latin Fathers, and has been inserted for the sake of connection.

Galatians 1:11. Instead of δέ, B D* F G א**, 17, 213, It. Vulg. and Fathers have γάρ. The latter has mechanically crept in from the use of the same word before and after (Galatians 1:10; Galatians 1:12). א*** has restored δέ.

Galatians 1:12. Instead of οὔτε, A D* F G א, min., and Greek Fathers have οὐδέ. So Lachm. A mechanical error of copying after the previous οὐδέ.

Galatians 1:15. θεός] after εὐδοκ. is wanting in B F G, 20, and many vss. and Fathers. Bracketed by Lachm. and Schott; deleted by Tisch.; rejected justly also by Ewald and Wieseler. An explanatory addition.

Galatians 1:17. ἀνῆλθον] B D E F G, 46, 74, Syr. Syr. p. (in the margin), Bas., have ἀπῆλθον. So Lachm. and Schott. Certainly ἀνῆλθον has the appearance of interpolation, suggested as well by the direction of the journey (comp. ἀναβαίνειν εἰς ἱεροσολ.) as by Galatians 1:18.

Galatians 1:18. πέτρον] A B א, min., Syr. Erp. Copt. Sahid. Aeth. Syr. p. (in the margin) have κηφᾶν. Approved of by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. Scholz, Schott, Tisch. Justly; the Hebrew name, both here and also in Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:11; Galatians 2:14, was supplanted by the Greek as a gloss; hence in Galatians 2:7-8, where Paul himself wrote the Greek name, the variation κηφᾶς does not occur. We must not assume that the reading κηφᾶν arose through several Fathers, like Clem. Al. in Eus. i. 12, being unwilling to refer the unfavourable account in Galatians 2:11 ff. to the Apostle Peter (Winer), because otherwise the Hebrew name would only have been used from Galatians 2:11 onwards.

CONTENTS.

After the apostolic address and salutation (Galatians 1:1-5), Paul immediately expresses his astonishment that his readers had so soon fallen away to a false gospel; against the preachers of which he utters his anathema, for he seeks to please God, and not men (Galatians 1:6-10). Next, he assures them that his gospel is not of men, for he had not received it from any man, but Christ had revealed it to him (Galatians 1:11-12). In order to confirm this historically, he appeals to his pre-Christian activity in persecution and to his Jewish zeal at that time (Galatians 1:13-14), and gives an exact account of his journeys and abodes from his conversion down to his formal acknowledgment on the part of the original apostles; from which it must be evident that he could be no disciple of the apostles (Galatians 1:15-24).


Verse 1

Galatians 1:1. ἀπόστολος οὐκ ἀπʼ ἀνθρώπων οὐδὲ διʼ ἀνθρώπου, ἀλλά κ. τ. λ.] Thus does Paul, with deliberate incisiveness and careful definition, bring into prominence at the very head of his epistle his (in the strictest sense) apostolic dignity, because doubt had been thrown on it by his opponents in Galatia. For by οὐκ ἀπʼ ἀνθρώπων he denies that his apostleship proceeded from men (causa remotior), and by οὐδὲ διʼ ἄνθρ. that it came by means of a man (causa medians). It was neither of human origin, nor was a man the medium of conveying it. Comp. Bernhardy, pp. 222, 236; Winer, p. 390 [E. T. 521]. On ἀπό, comp. also Romans 13:1. To disregard the diversity of meaning in the two prepositions (Semler, Morus, Koppe, and others), although even Usteri is inclined to this view (“Paul meant to say that in no respect did his office depend on human authority”), is all the more arbitrary, seeing that, while the two negatives very definitely separate the two relations, these two relations cannot he expressed by the mere change of number (Koppe, “non hominum, ne cujusquam quidem hominis;” comp. Bengel, Semler, Morus, Rosenmüller). This in itself would be but a feeble amplification of the thought, and in order to be intelligible, would need to be more distinctly indicated (perhaps by the addition of πολλῶν and ἑνός), for otherwise the readers would not have their attention drawn off from the difference of the prepositions. Paul has on the second occasion written not ἀνθρώπων again, but ἀνθρώπου, because the contrast to διʼ ἀνθρώπου is διὰ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ. It was not a man, but the exalted Christ, through whom the divine call to the apostleship came to Paul at Damascus; αὐτὸς δεσπότης οὐρανόθεν ἐκάλεσεν οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ χρησάμενος ὑπουργῷ, Theodoret. And this contrast is quite just: for Christ, the incarnate Son of God, was indeed as such, in the state of His self-renunciation and humiliation, ἄνθρωπος (Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 15:21), and in His human manifestation not specifically different from other men (Philippians 2:7; Galatians 4:4; Romans 8:3); but in His state of exaltation, since He is as respects His whole divine-human nature in heaven (Ephesians 1:20 ff.; Philippians 2:9; Philippians 3:20-21), He is, although subordinate to the Father (1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 15:28, et al.), partaker of the divine majesty which He had before the incarnation, and possesses in His whole person at the right hand of God divine honour and divine dominion. Comp. generally, Usteri, Lehrbegr. p. 327; Weiss, Bibl. Theol. p. 306.

καὶ θεοῦ πατρός] Following out the contrast, we should expect καὶ ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρ. But availing himself of the variety of form in which his idea could be set forth, Paul comprehends the properly twofold relation under one preposition, since, in point of fact, with respect to the modification in the import of the διά no reader could doubt that here the causa principalis is conceived also as medians. As to this usage of διά in popular language, see on 1 Corinthians 1:9. Christ is the mediate agent of Paul’s apostleship, inasmuch as Christ was the instrument through which God called him; but God also, who nevertheless was the causa principalis, may be conceived of under the relation of διά (comp. Galatians 4:7; Lachmann), inasmuch as Christ made him His apostle οὐκ ἄνευ θεοῦ πατρός, but, on the contrary, through the working of God, that is, through the interposition of the divine will, which exerted its determining influence in the act of calling (comp. 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1). Comp. Plat. Symp. p. 186 E, διὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τουτοῦ κυβερνᾶται; and Romans 11:36, διʼ αὐτοῦ τὰ πάντα; Winer, p. 354 f. [E. T. 474].

The words θεοῦ πατρός (which together have the nature of a proper name: comp. Philippians 2:11; Ephesians 6:23; 1 Peter 1:2), according to the context, present God as the Father of Jesus Christ, not as Father generally (de Wette; comp. Hilgenfeld), nor as our Father (Paulus, Usteri, Wieseler). The Father is named after the Son by way of climax (comp. Ephesians 5:5): in describing the superhuman origin of his apostleship Paul proceeds from the Higher to the Highest, without whom (see what follows) Christ could not have called him. Of course the calling by Christ is the element decisive of the true ἀποστολή (Wieseler); but it would remain so, even if Paul, advancing to the more definite agent, had named Christ after God. The supposition of a dogmatic precaution (Theodoret, ἵνα μή τις ὑπολάβῃ ὑπουργὸν εἶναι τοῦ πατρὸς τὸν υἱόν, εὑρὼν προσκείμενον τὸ διά, ἐπήγαγε καὶ θεοῦ πατρός, comp. Chrysostom, Calovius, and others) would be as irrelevant and inappropriate, as Rückert’s opinion is arbitrary, that Paul at first intended merely to write διὰ . χ., and then added as an after-thought, but inexactly (therefore without ἀπό), καὶ θεοῦ πατρός.

τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν] For Paul was called to be an apostle by the Christ who had been raised up bodily from the dead by the Father (1 Corinthians 15:8; 1 Corinthians 9:1; Acts 9:22; Acts 9:26); so that these words involve a historical confirmation of that καὶ θεοῦ πατρός in its special relation as thoroughly assuring the full apostolic commission of Paul:(14) they are not a mere designation of God as originator of the work of redemption (de Wette), which does not correspond to the definite connection with ἀπόστολος. According to Wieseler, the addition is intended to awaken faith both in Jesus as the Son and in God as our reconciled Father. But apart from the fact that the Father is here the Father of Christ, the idea of reconciliation does not suggest itself at this stage; and the whole self-description, which is appended to παῦλος, is introduced solely by his consciousness of full apostolic authority: it describes by contrast and historically what in other epistles is expressed by the simple κλητὸς ἀπόστολος. The opinion that Paul is pointing at the reproach made against him of not having seen Christ (Calvin, Morus, Semler, Koppe, Borger; comp. Ellicott), and that he here claims the pre-eminence of having been the only one called by the exalted Jesus (Augustine, Erasmus, Beza, Menochius, Estius, and others), is inappropriate, for the simple reason that the resurrection of Christ is mentioned in the form of a predicate of God (not of Christ). This reason also holds good against Matthies (comp. Winer), who thinks that the divine elevation of Christ is the point intended to be conveyed. Chrysostom and Oecumenius found even a reference directed against the validity of the Mosaical law, and Luther (comp. Calovius) against the trust in one’s own righteousness.


Verse 2

Galatians 1:2. καὶ οἱ σὺν ἐμοὶ πάντες ἀδελφοί] ἀδελφοί denotes nothing more than fellow-Christians; but the words σὺν ἐμοί place the persons here intended in special connection with the person of the apostle (comp. Galatians 2:3; Philippians 4:21): the fellow-Christians who are in my company. This is rightly understood as referring to his travelling companions, who were respectively his official assistants, at the time (comp. Pareus, Hammond, Semler, Michaelis, Morus, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Winer, Paulus, Rückert, Usteri, Wieseler, Reithmayr), just as Paul, in many other epistles, has conjoined the name of official associates with his own (1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1). Instead of mentioning their names,(15) which were perhaps known to the Galatians at least in part—possibly from his last visit to them (Acts 18:23) or in some other way—he uses the emphatic πάντες (which, however, by no means implies any very large number, as Erasmus and others, including Olshausen, have supposed), indicating that these brethren collectively desired to address the very same instructions, warnings, exhortations, etc., to the Galatians, whereby the impressive effect of the epistle, especially as regards the apostle’s opponents, could not but be strengthened, and therefore was certainly intended to be so strengthened (comp. Chrysostom, Theodoret, Jerome, Erasmus, Calvin, and others). At the same time, there is no need to assume that his opponents had spread abroad the suggestion that some one in the personal circle of the apostle did not agree with him in his teaching (Wieseler); actual indications of this must have been found in the epistle. Others have thought of all the Christians in the place where he was then sojourning (Erasmus, Estius, Grotius, Calovius, and others; also Schott). This is quite opposed to the analogy of all the other epistles of the N.T., not one of which is composed in the name of a church along with that of the writer. It would, in that case, have been more suitable that Paul should have either omitted σὺν ἐμοί (comp. 1 Corinthians 16:20), or expressed himself in such a way as to intimate, not that the church was σὺν αὐτῷ, but that he was σὺν αὐτοῖς. To refer it (with Beza) to the office-bearers of the church, is quite arbitrary; for the readers could not recognise this in σὺν ἐμοί without further explanation.

ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῆς γαλατ.] consequently a circular epistle to the several independent churches. The relations of the churches were different in Achaia: see on 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1. The fact that Paul adds no epithet of honour (as κλητοῖς ἁγίοις, or the like) is considered by Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, and by Winer, Credner, Olshausen (comp. Rückert), Hilgenfeld, Wieseler, a sign of indignation. Comp. Grotius, “quia coeperant ab evangelio declinare.” And justly so; because it is in keeping with the displeasure and chagrin which induce him afterwards to refrain from all such favourable testimony as he elsewhere usually bears to the Christian behaviour of his readers, and, on the contrary, to begin at once with blame (Galatians 1:6). In no other epistle, not even in the two earliest, 1 and 2 Thess., has he put the address so barely, and so unaccompanied by any complimentary recognition, as in this; it is not sufficient, therefore, to appeal to the earlier and later “usage of the apostle” (Hofmann).


Verse 3

Galatians 1:3. θεοῦ πατρός] refers here, according to the context, to the Christians, who through Christ have received the υἱοθεσία. See Galatians 4:26 ff.; Romans 8:15.

See, further, on Romans 1:7.


Verse 4

Galatians 1:4. This addition prepares the readers thus early for the recognition of their error; for their adhesion to Judaism was indeed entirely opposed to the aim of the atoning death of Jesus. Comp. Galatians 2:20, Galatians 3:13 ff. “See how he directs every word against self-righteousness,” Luther’s gloss.

τοῦ δόντος ἑαυτόν] that is, who did not withhold ( ἐφείσατο, Romans 8:32), but surrendered Himself, namely, to be put to death.(16) This special application of the words was obvious of itself to the Christian consciousness, and is placed beyond doubt by the addition περὶ τ. ἁμαρτ. ἡμ. Comp. Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 5:25; Titus 2:14; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Maccabees 6:44; and Wetstein in loc.

περὶ τῶν ἁμαρτ. ἡμ.] in respect of our sins (Romans 8:3), on account of them, namely, in order to atone for them. See Romans 3:23 ff.; Galatians 3:12 ff. In essential sense περί is not different from ὑπέρ (1 Peter 3:18; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 10:26; Hebrews 13:11; Xen. Mem. i. 1. 17; Eur. Alc. 176, comp. 701; Hom. Il. xii. 243, comp. i. 444; see Buttmann, Ind. ad Mid. p. 188; Schaefer, App. Dem. I. p. 190; Bremi, ad Dem. Ol. p. 188, Goth.), and the idea of satisfaction is implied, not in the signification of the preposition, but in the whole nature of the case. Hom. Il. i. 444: φοίβῳἑκατόμβην ῥέξαι ὑπὲρ δαναῶν (for the benefit of the Danai), ὄφρʼ ἱλασόμεσθα ἄνακτα. As to περί and ὑπέρ in respect to the death of Jesus, the latter of which (never περί) is always used by Paul when the reference to persons is expressed, see further on 1 Corinthians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 15:3.

ὅπως ἐξέληται ἡμᾶς κ. τ. λ.] End, which that self-surrender was to attain. The ἐνεστὼς αἰών is usually understood as equivalent to αἰὼν οὖτος, νῦν αἰών. Certainly in practical meaning ἐνεστώς may denote present (hence in the grammarians, ἐνεστὼς χρόνος, tempus praesens), but always only with the definite reference suggested by the literal signification, setting in, that is, in the course of entrance, that which has already begun. So not merely in passages such as Dem. 255. 9, 1466. 21; Herodian, ii. 2. 3; Polyb. i. 75. 2; 3 Esd. 5:47, 9:6; 3 Maccabees 1:16, but also in Xen. Hell. ii. 1. 5; Plat. Legg. ix. p. 878; Dinarch. i. 93; Polyb. i. 83. 2, i. 60. 9, vii. 5. 4; 2 Maccabees 3:17; 2 Maccabees 6:9; comp. Schweighäuser, Lex. Polyb. p. 219; Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor. p. 350. So also universally in the N.T., Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 7:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:2 (comp. 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 9:9). Now, as this definite reference of its meaning would be quite unsuitable to designate the αἰὼν οὗτος, because the latter is not an aeon just begun, but one running its course from the beginning and lasting until the παρουσία; and as elsewhere Paul always describes this present αἰών as the αἰὼν οὗτος (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:20; and frequently: comp. νῦν αἰών, 1 Timothy 6:17; 2 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:12), we must explain it as the period of time which is already in the act of setting in, the evil time which has already begun, that is, the time immediately preceding the παρουσία, so that the αἰὼν ἐνεστώς is the last part of the αἰὼν οὗτος. This αἰὼν ἐνεστώς is not only very full of sorrow through the dolores Messiae (see on 1 Corinthians 7:26), to which, however, the ethical πονηρός in our passage does not refer; but it is also in the highest degree immoral, inasmuch as many fall away from the faith, and the antichristian principle developes great power and audacity (2 Thessalonians 2:3 ff.; 1 Timothy 4:1 ff.; 2 Timothy 3:1 ff.; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 1:18; 1 John 2:18; Matthew 24:10-12). Comp. Usteri, l.c. p. 348 ff.; Lücke and Huther on 1 John 2:18. On that account this period of time is pre-eminently αἰὼν πονηρός. With his idea of the nearness of the παρουσία, Paul conceived this period as having then already begun (comp. 2 Thessalonians 2:7), although its full development was still in reserve (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Accordingly, the same period is here designated αἰὼν ἐνεστώς which in other places is called καιρὸς ἔσχατος (1 Peter 1:5), ἔσχαται ἡμέραι (Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1), ἐσχάτη ὥρα (1 John 2:18), and in Rabbinic קֵץ or סו̇ ף or אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים (Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 23:20; Micah 4:1). See Schoettgen, Hor. ad 2 Timothy 3:1. Christ, says Paul, desired by means of His atoning death to deliver us out of this wicked period, that is, to place us out of fellowship with it, inasmuch as through His death the guilt of believers was blotted out, and through faith, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, the new moral life—the life in the Spirit—was brought about in them (Romans 6:8). Christians have become objects of God’s love and holy, and as such are now taken out of that αἰὼν πονηρός, so that, although living in this αἰών, they yet have nothing in common with its πονηρία.(17) Comp. Barnabas, Ep. 10, where the righteous man, walking in this world, τὸν ἅγιον αἰῶνα ἐκδέχεται. The ἐξέληται, moreover, has the emphasis and is accordingly prefixed. For how antagonistic to this separation, designed by Christ, was the fellowship with the αἰὼν πονηρός into which the readers had relapsed through their devotion to the false teachers!

Observe, moreover, that the αἰὼν πονηρός forms one idea, and therefore it was not necessary to repeat the article before πονηροῦ (as Matthias contends); see Krüger, § 57. 2. 3.

κατὰ τὸ θέλη΄α κ. τ. λ.] strengthens the weight of the ὅπως ἐξέληται κ. τ. λ., to which it belongs. Comp. Ephesians 1:4 f.; Colossians 1:13 f. The salvation was willed by God, to whom Christ was obedient (Philippians 2:8); the reference of κατὰ τ. θελ. κ. τ. λ. to the whole sentence from τοῦ δόντος onwards (Bengel, Wieseler, probably also Hofmann) is less simple, and unnecessary. The connection with προνηροῦ (Matthias) would only be possible, if the latter were predicative, and would yield an idea entirely paradoxical.

τ. θεοῦ κ. πατρ. ἡ΄.] of God, who (through Christ) is our Father. Comp. Philippians 4:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Thessalonians 3:13. As to the καί, comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:3 : from the latter passage it must not be concluded that ἡ΄ῶν belongs also to θεοῦ (Hofmann). The more definite designation κ. πατρ. ἡ΄ῶν conveys the motive of the θέλημα, love.


Verse 5

Galatians 1:5. To the mention of this counsel of deliverance the piety of the apostle annexes a doxology. Comp. 1 Timothy 1:17; Romans 11:36; Romans 9:5; Romans 16:27; Ephesians 3:21.

δόξα] that is, the honour due to Him for this θέλημα. We have to supply εἴη, and not ἐστί (Vulgate, Hofmann, Matthias), which is inserted (Romans 1:25; 1 Peter 4:11) where there is no doxology. So in the frequent doxologies in the apostolic Fathers, e.g. Clement, Cor. I. 20, 38, 43, 45, 50, 58. Comp. the customary εὐλογητός, sc. εἴη, at Romans 9:5; Ephesians 1:3. See, further, on Ephesians 3:21.


Verse 6

Galatians 1:6. Without prefixing, as in other epistles, even in those to the Corinthians, a conciliatory preamble setting forth what was commendable in his readers, Paul at once plunges in mediam rem. He probably wrote without delay, immediately on receiving the accounts which arrived as to the falling away of his readers, while his mind was still in that state of agitated feeling which prevented him from using his customary preface of thanksgiving and conciliation,—a painful irritation ( πυροῦμαι, 2 Corinthians 11:29), which was the more just, that in the case of the Galatians, the very foundation and substance of his gospel threatened to fall to pieces.

θαυμάζω] often used by Greek orators in the sense of surprise at something blameworthy. Dem. 349. 3; Sturz, Lex. Xen. II. p. 511; Abresch, Diluc. Thuc. p. 309. In the N.T., comp. Mark 6:6; John 7:21; 1 John 3:13.

οὕτω ταχέως] so very quickly, so recently, may denote either the rapid development of the apostasy (comp. 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 1 Timothy 5:22; Wisdom of Solomon 14:28), as Chrysostom ( οὐδὲ χρόνου δέονται οἱ ἀπατῶντες ὑμᾶς κ. τ. λ.), Theophylact, Koppe, Schott, de Wette, Windischmann, Ellicott, Hofmann, Reithmayr understand it; or its early occurrence (1 Corinthians 4:19; Philippians 2:19, et al.), whether reckoned from the last visit of the apostle (Bengel, Flatt, Hilgenfeld, Wieseler) or from the conversion of the readers (Usteri, Olshausen). The latter is preferable, because it corresponds with ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος κ. τ. λ., whereby the time of the calling is indicated as the terminus a quo. Comp. Galatians 3:1-3. This view is not inconsistent with the fact that the epistle was written a considerable time after the conversion of the readers; for, at all events, they had been Christians for but a few years, which the οὕτω ταχέως as a relative idea still suits well enough. By their μετατίθεσθαι they showed themselves to be πρόσκαιροι (Matthew 13:21), and this surprises the apostle. As to οὕτω, comp. on Galatians 3:3.

μετατίθεσθε] μετατίθημι, to transpose, in the middle, to alter one’s opinion, to become of another mind, and generally to fall away (with εἰς, App. Hisp. 17; Sirach 6:8; with πρός, Polyb. xxvi. 2. 6). See Wetstein in loc.; Kypke, II. p. 273; Ast. ad Plat. de Leg. p. 497; from the LXX., Schleusner, s.v.; and from Philo, Loesner, p. 325. It might also be understood in a passive sense (Theodoras of Mopsuestia, μετατίθ., not μετάγεσθε, is used: ὡς ἐπὶ ἀψύχων; Beza, “verbum passivum usurpavit, ut culpam in pseudo-apostolos derivet”). But the use of the middle in this sense is the common one; so that the passive sense, and the nicety which, according to Beza, is involved in it, must have been more definitely indicated to the reader in order to be recognised. The present tense denotes that the readers were still in the very act of the falling away, which began so soon after their conversion. According to Jerome, the word itself is intended to convey an allusion to the name Galatia: “Galatia enim translationem in nostra lingua sonat” ( גָּלָה; hence גּו ̇לָה, גָּלוּת carrying away). Although approved by Bertholdt, this idea is nevertheless an empty figment, because the thing suggested the expression, and these Hebrew words denote the μετατίθεσθαι in the sense of exile (see Gesenius, Thes. I. p. 285). But from an historical point of view, the appeals of Grotius and Wetstein to the fickleness of the Gallic character (Caes. B. Gall. iii. 19, iv. 5, ii. 1, iii. 10) are not without interest as regards the Galatians.

ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς ἐν χάριτι χ.] On ἀπό, away from, comp. 2 Maccabees 7:24; and see generally, Kühner, § 622 c. The τοῦ καλέσαντος is not to be taken with χριστοῦ, as Syr., Jerome, Erasmus (in the version, not in the paraphrase and annotations), Luther, Calvin, Grotius, Bengel, and others, also Morus and Flatt, understand it; against which may be urged, not (with Matthies and Schott) the want of the article before χριστοῦ (see on Romans 9:5; comp. also 1 Peter 1:15), but the fact that the calling into the kingdom of the Messiah is presented by Paul (and the apostles generally) so constantly as the work of God, that we must not deviate from this analogy in explaining the words (see on Romans 1:6; and Weiss, Bibl. Theol. p. 387). Thence, also, τοῦ καλέσ. is not to be taken as neuter, and referred to the gospel (Ewald); but καλέσας is God, and χριστοῦ belongs to ἐν χάριτι, from Him who has called you through the grace of Christ. ἐν χάριτι χριστοῦ is instrumental; for the grace of Christ (Acts 15:11; Romans 5:15; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Titus 3:6 : comp. also Romans 16:20; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Philemon 1:25), that is, the favour of Christ unmerited by sinful men, according to which He gave up His life to atone for them (comp. Galatians 1:4), is that by which, that is, by the preaching of which, the divine calling reaches the subjects of it; comp. Acts 14:3; Acts 20:24. So καλεῖν with ἐν, 1 Corinthians 7:15; Ephesians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; to which passages the interpretation “on the ground of grace” (Wieseler) is not suitable. Others take ἐν for εἰς (Vulgate, Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, Beza and others, also Borger and Rückert); so that by brevity of language ἐν, indicating the result of the direction, includes within it this also; see Winer, p. 388 [E. T. 514]. This is unnecessarily forced, for such a constructio praegnans in Greek and in the N.T. is undisputed only in the case of verbs of motion (as ἔρχεσθαι, εἰσιέναι, ἐμπίπτειν, κ. τ. λ.). Comp. also Hartung, über d. Kas. p. 68 f. In point of sense, moreover, this view is liable to the objection that the κλῆσις always refers to the Messianic kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Peter 5:10; Revelation 19:9, et al.; also 1 Corinthians 1:9, and passages such as Colossians 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:7), and the grace of Christ is that which procures the Messianic σωτηρία (Romans 5:15, et al.), and not the σωτηρία itself. On the absence of the article before χάριτι, see Winer, p. 118 f. [E. T. 147 f.]

Observe, moreover how the whole mode of setting forth the apostasy makes the readers sensible of its antagonism to God and salvation! Comp. Chrysostom and Theodoret.

εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγ.] to a gospel of a different quality, from that, namely, which was preached to you when God called you. Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:4. The contrast is based on the previous designation of their calling as having taken place ἐν χάριτι χριστοῦ (not somehow by the law),—a statement clearly enough indicating the specific nature of the Pauline gospel, from which the nature of the Judaistic teaching, although the Galatians had likewise received the latter as the gospel for which it had been passed off, was withal so different ( ἕτερον). Comp. Galatians 1:8.


Verse 7

Galatians 1:7. The expression just used, εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον, was a paradoxical one, for in the true sense there is only one gospel: it seems to presuppose the existence of several εὐαγγέλια, but only serves to bring into clearer light the misleading efforts of the Judaists, and in this sense the apostle now explains it.

οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο, εἰ μή κ. τ. λ.] which ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον, to which ye have fallen away, is not another, not a second gospel, alongside of that by means of which ye were called ( ἄλλο, not ἕτερον again), except there are certain persons who perplex you, etc. That is, this ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον is not another by the side of the former, only there are certain persons who perplex you; so that in this respect only can we speak of ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον as if it were an ἄλλο. So in substance Wieseler and Hofmann; comp. Matthias. It must be observed that the emphasis is laid first on οὐκ and then on ἄλλο; so that, although Paul has previously said εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον, he yet guards the oneness of the gospel, and represents that to which he applied the words ἕτερον εὐαγγ. as only the corruption and perversion of the one (of the εὐαγγ. τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς ἐν χάριτι χριστοῦ). Thus εἰ μή retains its general meaning nisi, without any need to assume (with Matthies) an abbreviation for εἰ μὴ ἄλλο ἐστὶ διὰ τοῦτο, ὅτι τινές εἰσιν οἱ ταράσσοντες κ. τ. λ.(18) The two emphatic words ἕτερον and ἄλλο preserve, however, their difference in sense: ἄλλο meaning absolutely another, that is, a second likewise existing (besides the one gospel); and ἕτερον one of another kind, different ( ἕτερον καὶ ἀνόμοιον Plat. Conv. p. 186 B). Dem. 911. 7; Soph. Phil. 501, O. C. 1446; Xen. Anab. vi. 4. 8 (and Krüger in loc.); Wisdom of Solomon 7:5; Judith 8:20. In the N.T., comp. especially 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 1 Corinthians 15:40; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Acts 4:12; also 1 Corinthians 14:21; Romans 7:23; Mark 16:12; Luke 9:29. Comp. also the expression ἕτερον παρά τι, Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaed. p. 71 A., Rep. p. 337 E. The interpretation most generally received (Peschito, Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theodoret, Erasmus, Luther, Castalio, Beza, Wolf, Bengel, and many others; also Morus, Koppe, Borger, Flatt, Usteri, de Wette, Hilgenfeld) connects οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο merely with εὐαγγέλιον,(19) and for the most part understands εἰ μή adversatively, “Neque tamen est ulla alia doctrina de Jesu Christo vera; sunt vero homines,” etc., Koppe. Against this interpretation may be urged, first, the fact that ἕτερον previously had the chief emphasis laid on it, and is therefore quite unwarrantably excluded from the reference of the relative which follows; secondly, that Paul must have logically used some such expression as ΄ὴ ὄντος ἀλλοῦ; and lastly, that εἰ ΄ή never means anything else than nisi, not even in passages such as Galatians 2:16; Matthew 12:4 (see on this passage); Luke 4:26; 1 Corinthians 7:17; and Revelation 9:4; Revelation 21:27. Comp. Hom. Od. xii. 325 f., οὐδέ τις ἄλλος γίγνετʼ ἔπειτʼ ἀνέμων, εἰ μὴ εὐρός τε νότος τε, and the passages in Poppo, ad Thuc. III. 1, p. 216. Others, as Calvin, Grotius (not Calovius), Homberg, Winer, Rückert, Olshausen, refer to the whole contents of ὅτι οὓτω ταχέως εὐαγγέλιον, “quod quidem (sc. vos deficere a Christo) non est aliud, nisi, etc., the case is not otherwise than” (Winer). But by this interpretation the whole point of the relation, so Pauline in its character, which οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο bears to ἕτερον, is lost; and why should the more special explanation of the deficere a Christo be annexed in so emphatic a form, and not by a simple γάρ or the like? Lastly, Schott (so also Cornelius a Lapide) looks upon οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο as a parenthesis, and makes εἰ ΄ή τινες κ. τ. λ. depend on θαυ΄άζω κ. τ. λ.; so that that, which is expressed in the words θαυ΄άζω κ. τ. λ., by εἰ ΄ή τινες κ. τ. λ.limitibus circumscribatur proferenda defectionis causa, qua perpendenda illud θαυμάζειν vel minuatur vel tollatur.” This is incorrect, for logically Paul must have written ἐθαύμαζον ἄνεἰ μή τινες ἦσαν; and with what arbitrary artifice οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο is thus set aside and, as it were, abandoned, and yet the reference of the to the emphatic ἕτερον is assumed!

οἱ ταράσσοντες ὑ΄ᾶς] The participle with the article designates the τινές as those whose characteristic was the ταράσσειν of the Galatians, as persons who dealt in this, who were occupied with it. Comp. the very usual εἰσὶν οἱ λέγοντες; also Luke 18:9; Colossians 2:8. See generally Winer, p. 104 [E. T. 136]; Krüger, § 50. 4. 3; Fritzsche, Quaest. Luk. p. 18; Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor. p. 238. On ταράσσειν, in the sense of perplexing the faith and principles, comp. here and Galatians 5:10, especially Acts 15:24; Sirach 28:9.

καὶ θέλοντες ΄εταστρέψαι] “re ipsa non poterant, volebant tamen obnixe,” Bengel; “volunt … sed non valent,” Jerome. On the other hand, the ταράσσειν of the Galatians actually took place.

The article before ταρ. refers to θέλοντες as well. See Seidler, ad Eur. El. 429; Fritzsche, ad Matth. p. 52; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 1. 19.

μεταστρέψαι, to pervert, that is, to alter so that it acquires an entirely opposite nature. Comp. LXX. 1 Samuel 10:9; Sirach 11:31; Hom. Il. xv. 203; Dem. 1032. 1.

τὸ εὐαγγ. τοῦ χ.] see generally on Mark 1:1. The genitive is here not auctoris, but, as expressing the specific characteristic of the one only gospel in contradistinction to those who were perplexing the Galatians, objecti (concerning Christ). This is evident from Galatians 1:6, where ἐν χάριτι χριστοῦ indicates the contents of the gospel.


Verse 8

Galatians 1:8. ἀλλά, not but, as an antithesis to οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο (Hofmann), which has already been fully disposed of by εἰ μὴ κ. τ. λ. It is rather the however confronting most emphatically the τινές εἰσιν οἱ ταράσσοντες κ. τ. λ. “There are some, etc.; whoso, however, it may be who so behaves, let him he accursed!” This curse pronounced by the apostle on his opponents is indirect, but, because it is brought about by a conclusion a majori ad minus, all the more emphatic.

καὶ ἐάν] to be taken together, even in the case that. See Herm. ad Viger. p. 832; Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 140 f.

ἡμεῖς] applies primarily and chiefly to the apostle himself, but the σὺν ἐμοὶ πάντες ἀδελφοί (Galatians 1:2) are also included. To embrace in the reference the associates of the apostle in founding the Galatian churches (Hofmann) is premature, for these are only presented to the reader in the εὐηγγελισάμεθα which follows.

ἄγγελος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ] to be taken together: an angel οὐρανόθεν καταβάς (Hom. Il. xi. 184). Comp. ἄγγελοι ἐν οὐρανῷ, Matthew 22:30. If Paul rejects both his own and angelic authority—consequently even the supposed superhuman intervention (comp. 1 Corinthians 13:1)—with reference to the case assumed, as accursed,(20)every one without exception (comp. ὅστις ἄν , Galatians 5:10) is in the same case subject to the same curse. The certainty, that no other gospel but that preached by the apostle to his readers was the true one, cannot be more decisively confirmed.

παρʼ εὐηγγελισ. ὑμῖν] This , which is not to be explained by εὐαγγέλιον (Schott, Flatt, Hofmann), is simply that which, namely, as the context shows, as contents of the gospel; “beyond that which we,” etc. (Bernhardy, p. 259.) This may mean either praeterquam (Vulgate, Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus, Beza, Calovius, Rambach, and others) or contra (so Theodoret and the older Catholics, Grotius, and many others; also Winer, Rückert, Usteri, Matthies, Schott, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Wieseler, Hofmann). For the two meanings, see Matthiae, p. 1381; Winer, p. 377 [E. T. 503]. In earlier times a dogmatic interest was involved in this point: the Lutherans, in order to combat tradition, laying the stress on praeterquam; and the Catholics, to protect the same, on contra. See Calovius and Estius. The contra, or more exactly, the sense of specific difference, is most suitable to the context (see Galatians 1:6, ἕτερον εὐαγγέλ.). Comp. Romans 16:17.

εὐηγγελισάμεθα ὑμῖν] that is, “I and my companions at the time of your conversion” (comp. παρελάβετε, Galatians 1:9). The emphasis, however, lies on παρʼ.

ἀνάθεμα ἔστω.] Let him be subject to the divine wrath and everlasting perdition ( חֵרֶם), the same as κατάρα and ἐπικατάρατος, Galatians 3:13; see on Romans 9:3. The opposite, Galatians 6:16. To apply it (Rosenmüller, Baumgarten-Crusius, comp. also Grotius and Semler) to the idea of excommunication subsequently expressed in the church (Suicer, Thes. I. p. 270) by the word ἀνάθεμα, is contrary to the usage of the N.T. (Romans 9:3; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Corinthians 16:22), and is besides in this passage erroneous, because even a false-teaching angel is supposed in the protasis. Comp., on the contrary, Galatians 5:10, βαστάσει τὸ κρῖ΄α; 2 Thessalonians 1:9. See generally the thoroughly excellent discussion of Wieseler, p. 39 ff. Mark, moreover, in the use of the preceptive rather than the mere optative form, the expression of the apostolic ἐξουσία, Let him be!


Verse 9

Galatians 1:9. Again the same curse (“deliberate loquitur,” Bengel); but now the addition of an allusion to an earlier utterance of it increases still more its solemn earnestness.

ὡς προειρήκαμεν] is referred by Chrysostom, Theophylact, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Luther, Erasmus, Estius, Grotius, Bengel, and most of the earlier expositors, also Flatt, Winer, Matthies, Neander, to Galatians 1:8. But in this case Paul would have written merely ὡς εἰρήκαμεν, πάλιν λέγω, or simply πάλιν ἐρῶ, as in Philippians 4:4. The compound verb προειρήκαμεν (Galatians 5:21; 2 Corinthians 7:3; 2 Corinthians 13:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:6) and καὶ ἄρτι point necessarily to an earlier time, in contrast to the present. Hence the Peschito, Jerome (comp. Augustine, who leaves a choice between the two views), Semler, Koppe, Borger, Rückert, Usteri, Schott, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Hilgenfeld, Ewald, Wieseler, Hofmann, Reithmayr, and others, rightly take it as indicating the presence of the apostle among the Galatians at the time when he uttered this curse; comp. Galatians 5:3. We must, however, look upon this presence as the second and not the first visit (Hofmann); for the expression in the form of curse betrays an advanced stage of the danger, and not a merely prophylactic measure.

καὶ ἄρτι πάλιν λέγω] apodosis, “so say I also now (at the present moment) again;” so that πάλιν thus glances back to the time to which the προ applied. Rückert regards ὡςλέγω together as the protasis (comp. Ewald), in which case the proper apodosis, so it is in fact, before εἴ τις would be wanting. Or rather, if ὡςλέγω were the protasis, εἴ τις ὑμᾶςἀνάθεμα ἔστω would be the real apodosis. But why introduce at all such a forced departure from the separation, which presents itself so naturally, and is so full of emphasis, of ὡςλέγω into protasis and apodosis? The reference of προειρήκ. to an earlier time is certain enough; and ἄρτι, now, in the sense of the point of time then present, is very usual in Greek authors (Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 18 ff.) and in the N.T.

εἴ τις ὑμᾶς κ. τ. λ.] Paul does not here, as in Galatians 1:8, again use ἐάν with the subjunctive, but on account of the actual occurrence puts the positive εἰ,—thus giving to his utterance a climactic character, as in Acts 5:38 f. (see on the passage); Luke 13:9; Winer, p. 277 [E. T. 369]; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 190; Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaed. p. 93 B. Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:20-21, μήπως

μήπως-g0-

μή-g0-.

As to εὐαγγελίζεσθαι with the accusative,(21) which does not occur elsewhere in Paul’s writings, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 268.

παρελάβετε] often used of that which one gets through instruction. See Kypke, II. p. 222. It may, however, denote either to take (actively), as in 1 Corinthians 15:1; 1 John 1:10; Philippians 4:9; or to receive (passively), as in Galatians 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:3, et al. The latter is preferable here, as a parallel to εὐηγγελισάμεθα ὑμῖν in Galatians 1:8.


Verse 10

Galatians 1:10. Paul feels that the curse which he had just repeated twice might strike his readers as being repulsive and stern; and in reference thereto he now gives an explanatory justification ( γάρ) of the harsh language. He would not have uttered that ἀνάθεμα ἔστω, if he had been concerned at present to influence men in his favour, and not God, etc.

ἄρτι] has the chief emphasis, corresponds to the ἄρτι in Galatians 1:9, and is therefore to be understood, not, as it usually is (and by Wieseler also), in the wider sense of the period of the apostle’s Christian life generally, but (so Bengel, de Wette, Ellicott) in reference to the present moment, as in Galatians 1:9, just as ἄρτι always in the N.T., corresponding to the Greek usage of the word, expresses the narrower idea modo, nunc ipsum, but does not represent the wider sense of νῦν (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:16; Matthew 26:53, et al.), which is not even the case in the passages in Lobeck, p. 20. Hence, often as νῦν in Paul’s writings covers the whole period from his conversion, ἄρτι is never used in this sense, not even in 1 Corinthians 13:12. The latter rather singles out from the more general compass of the νῦν the present moment specially, as in the classical combination νῦν ἄρτι (Plat. Polit. p. 291 B, Men. p. 85 C). Now, Paul would say, just now, when he is induced to write this letter by the Judaizing reaction against the very essence of the true and sole gospel which he upheld,—now, at this critical point of time—it could not possibly be his business to conciliate men, but God only. Comp. Hofmann.

ἀνθρώ πους] is quite general, and is not to be restricted either to his opponents (Hofmann) or otherwise. The category, which is pointed at, is negatived, and thus the generic ἀνθρώπ. needed no article (Stallbaum, ad Plat. Rep. p. 619. 13; Sauppe, ad Xen. Mem. i. 4, 14).

πείθω] persuadeo, whether by words or otherwise. The word never has any other signification; but the more precise definition of its meaning results from the context. Here, where that which was repulsive in the preceding curse is to receive explanation, and the parallel is ζητῶ ἀρέσκειν, and where also the words τὸν θεόν must fit in with the idea of πείθω, it denotes, as often in classical authors (Nägelsbach zur Ilias. i. 100), to win over, to conciliate and render friendly to oneself (Acts 12:20, and Kypke thereon). Comp. especially on πείθειν θεόν, Pind. Ol. ii. 144; Plat. Pol. iii. p. 390 E, ii. p. 364 C Eur. Med. 964; also the passages from Josephus in Krebs. Lastly, the present tense expresses, I am occupied with it, I make it my business. See Bernhardy, p. 370. Our explanation of πείθω substantially agrees with that of Chrysostom, Theophylact, Flacius, Hammond, Grotius, Elsner, Cornelius a Lapide, Estius, Wolf, Zachariae, Morus, Koppe, and others; also Borger, Flatt, Winer, Rückert, Usteri, Matthies, Schott, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Ewald (who, however, restricts the reference of τὸν θεόν, which there is nothing to limit, to the day of judgment), Wieseler, Hofmann, Reithmayr, and others. The interpretations which differ from this, such as “humana suadeo or doceo, an divina” (Erasmus, Luther, Beza, Vatablus, Gomarus, Cramer, Michaelis); or “suadeone secundum homines an secundum Deum,” thus expressing the intention and not the contents (Calvin); or “suadeone vobis, ut hominibus credatis an ut Deo” (Piscator, Pareus, Calixtus; so also in substance, Holsten, z. Evang. d. Paul. u. Petr. p. 332 ff., and Hilgenfeld), are contrary to the meaning of the word: for πείθειν τινά always means persuadere alicui, and is not to be identified with πείθειν τι (Acts 19:8; Acts 28:23), placing the personal accusative under the point of view of the thing.

ζητῶ ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκειν] or do I strive to be an object of human goodwill?—not tautological, but more general than the preceding. The stress which lies on ἀνθρώποις makes any saving clause on the part of expositors (as, for example, Schott, “de ejusmodi cogitari studio hominibus placendi, quod Deo displiceat”) appear unsuitable. Even by his winning accommodation (1 Corinthians 9:19 ff; 1 Corinthians 10:15) Paul sought not at all to please men, but rather God. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:4.

εἰ ἔτι ἀνθρώποις ἤρεσκον κ. τ. λ.] contains the negative answer to the last question. The emphasis is placed first on ἀνθρώποις, and next on χριστοῦ: “If I still pleased men, if I were not already beyond the possession of human favour, but were still well-pleasing to men, I should not be Christ’s servant.” According to de Wette, ἔτι is intended to affirm nothing more than that, if the one existed, the other could no longer exist. But in this case ἔτι must logically have been placed after οὐκ. The truth of the proposition, εἰ ἔτι κ. τ. λ., in which ἀνθρώπ. is not any more than before to be limited to Paul’s opponents (according to Holsten, even including the apostles at Jerusalem), rests upon the principle that no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), and corresponds to the οὐαί of the Lord Himself (Luke 6:26), and to His own precedent (John 6:41). But how decidedly, even at that period of the development of his apostolic consciousness, Paul had the full and clear conviction that he was an object, not of human goodwill, but of human hatred and calumny, is specially evident from the Epistles to the Corinthians composed soon afterwards; comp., however, even 1 Thessalonians 2:4 ff. In this he recognised a mark of the servant of God and Christ (2 Corinthians 6:4 ff; 2 Corinthians 11:23 ff.; 1 Corinthians 4:9). The ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκειν is the result of ζητεῖν ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκειν, and consequently means to please men, not to seek to please or to live to please them, as most expositors, even Rückert, Usteri, Schott, Baumgarten-Crusius,(22) quite arbitrarily assume, although apart from the context the words might have this meaning; see on 1 Corinthians 10:33; and comp. ἀνθρωπάρεσκος, Ephesians 6:6

χριστοῦ δοῦλος οὐκ ἂν ἤ΄ην] is understood by most expositors, following Chrysostom, including Koppe, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Paulus, Schott, Rückert, “so should I now be no apostle, but I should have remained a Jew, Pharisee, and persecutor of Christians;” taking, therefore, χριστοῦ δοῦλος in an historical sense. But how feeble this idea would be, and how lacking the usual depth of the apostle’s thought! No; χριστοῦ δοῦλος is to be taken in its ethical character (Erasmus, Grotius, Bengel, Semler, Zachariae, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Ewald, Wieseler, and others): “Were I still well-pleasing to men, this would exclude the character of a servant of Christ, and I should not be such an one; whom men misunderstand, hate, persecute, revile.” As to the relation, however, of our passage to 1 Corinthians 10:32, see Calovius, who justly remarks that in the latter passage the πάντα πᾶσιν ἀρέσκω is meant secundum Deum et ad hominum aedificationem, and not secundum auram et voluntatem nudam hominum.


Verse 11-12

Galatians 1:11-12.(23) Theme of the apologetic portion of the epistle. See Introd. sec. 2.

δέ] carrying on the discourse. The way having been prepared for this theme in Galatians 1:8-10, it is now formally announced for further discussion.(24) And after the impassioned outburst in Galatians 1:6-10, the language becomes composed and calm. Now therefore, for the first time, we find the address ἀδελφοί.

γνωρίζω δὲ ὑμῖν] but (now to enter more particularly on the subject of my letter) I make known to you. This announcement has a certain solemnity (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:1; 2 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 12:3), which is only enhanced by the fact that the matter must have been already known to the reader. There is no need to modify the sense of γνωρίζω, which neither here nor in 1 Corinthians 15:1 means monere vos volo or the like (Morus, Rosenmüller, and others).

τὸ εὐαγγέλιονὅτι] attraction, Winer, p. 581 f. [E. T. 781 f.]

τὸ εὐαγγελισθὲν ὑπʼ ἐμοῦ] which has been announced by me, among you and among others (comp. κηρύσσω, Galatians 2:2); not to be limited to the conversion of the readers only.

κατὰ ἄνθρωπον] cannot indicate the mode of announcement, which would require us to conceive εὐαγγελισθέν as repeated (Hofmann). Necessarily belonging to οὐκ ἔστι, it is the negative modal expression of the gospel itself which was preached by Paul; specifying, however, not its origin (Augustine, Cornelius a Lapide, Estius, Calovius, Wolf, and others), which κατά in itself never expresses (Fritzsche, ad Matth. p. 3), but its qualitative relation, although this is conditioned by its origin (Galatians 1:12). The gospel announced by me is not according to men, that is, not of such quality as it would be if it were the work of men; it is not of the same nature as human wisdom, human efficiency, and the like. Comp. Xen. Mem. iv. 4. 24, τὸ τοὺς νόμους αὐτοὺς τοῖς παραβαίνουσι τὰς τιμωρίας ἔχειν βελτίονος κατʼ ἄνθρωπον νομοθέτου δοκεῖ μοι εἶναι. Eur. Med. 673, σοφώτερʼ κατʼ ἄνδρα συμβαλεῖν ἔπη. Soph. Aj. 747, μὴ κατʼ ἄνθρωπον φρονεῖ. Comp. Aj. 764; Oed. Col. 604; Plat. Pol. 2. 359 D. The opposite, ὑπὲρ ἄνθρωπον εἶναι, Lucian, Vit. auct. 2. Looking to the context, the view of Grotius is too narrow, “nihil humani affectus admixtum habet.” Bengel hits the mark, “non est humani census evangelium meum.”


Verse 12

Galatians 1:12. Proof of the statement, τὸ εὐαγγέλιονοὐκ ἔστι κατὰ ἄνθρωπον.

οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγώ] for neither I, any more than the other apostles. On οὐδὲ γάρ, for neither, which corresponds with the positive καὶ γάρ, comp. Bornemann, ad Xen. Symp. p. 200; Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 211. The earlier expositors (also Morus, Koppe, and others) neglect both the signification of οὐδέ and the emphasis on ἐγώ, which is also overlooked by de Wette, “for also I have not,” etc.; and Ewald, “I obtained it not at all.” Comp., on the contrary, Matthew 21:27; Luke 20:8; John 8:11. Rückert, Matthies, and Schott understand οὐδέ only as if it were οὔ, assuming it to be used on account of the previous negation; and see in ἐγώ a contrast to those, quibus ipse tradiderit evangelium, in which case there must have been αὐτός instead of ἐγώ. This remark also applies to Hofmann’s view, “that he himself has not received what he preached through human instruction.” Besides, the supposed reference of ἐγώ would be quite unsuitable, for the apostle had not at all in view a comparison with his disciples; a comparison with the other apostles was the point agitating his mind. Lastly, Winer finds too much in οὐδέ, “nam ne ego quidem.” This is objectionable, not because, as Schott and Olshausen, following Rückert, assume, οὐδʼ ἐγὼ γάρ or καὶ γὰρ οὐδʼ ἐγώ must in that case have been written, for in fact γάρ would have its perfectly regular position (Galatians 6:13; Romans 8:7; John 5:22; John 7:5; John 8:42, et al.); but because ne ego quidem would imply the concession of a certain higher position for the other apostles (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:8-9), which would not be in harmony with the apostle’s present train of thought, where his argument turned rather on his equality with them (comp. 1 Corinthians 9:1).

παρὰ ἀνθρώπου] from a man, who had given it to me. Not to be confounded with ἀπʼ ἀνθρώπου (see on 1 Corinthians 11:23, and Hermann, ad Soph. El. 65). Here also, as in Galatians 1:1, we have the contrast between ἄνθρωπος and ἰησ. χριστός.

αὐτό] viz. τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τὸ εὐαγγελισθὲν ὑπʼ ἐμοῦ.

οὔτε ἐδιδάχθην] As οὔτε refers only to the οὐκ contained in the preceding οὐδέ, and δέ and τέ do not correspond, οὔτε is here by no means inappropriate (as Rückert alleges). See Hand, De part. τέ diss. II. p. 13; Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 101 f.; Buttmann, neutest. Gr. p. 315. Comp. on Acts 23:8. For neither have I received it from a man, nor learned it. παρέλαβον denotes the receiving through communication in general (comp. Galatians 1:9), ἐδιδάχθην the receiving specially through instruction duly used.

ἀλλὰ διʼ ἀποκαλύψ. . χ.] The contrast to παρὰ ἀνθρώπου; ἰησοῦ χ. is therefore the genitive, not of the object (Theodoret, Matthies, Schott), but of the subject (comp. 2 Corinthians 12:1; Revelation 1:1), by Jesus Christ giving to me revelation. Paul alludes to the revelations(25) received soon after the event at Damascus, and consequent therefore upon his calling, which enabled him to comply with it and to come forward as a preacher of the gospel. Comp. Galatians 1:15-16; Ephesians 3:3. The revelation referred to in 2 Corinthians 12:1 ff. (Thomas, Cornelius a Lapide, Balduin, and others) cannot be meant; because this occurred at a subsequent period, when Paul had for a long time been preaching the gospel. Nor must we (with Koppe, Flatt, and Schott) refer it to the revelations which were imparted to him generally, including those of the later period, for here mention is made only of a revelation by which he received and learned the gospel.

How the ἀποκάλυψις took place (according to Calovius, through the Holy Spirit; comp. Acts 9:17), must be left undecided. It may have taken place with or without vision, in different stages, partly even before his baptism in the three days mentioned Acts 9:6; Acts 9:9, partly at and immediately after it, but not through instruction on the part of Ananias. The ἐν ἐ΄οί in Galatians 1:16 is consistent with either supposition.


Verse 13

Galatians 1:13. Now begins the historical proof that he was indebted for his gospel to the ἀποκάλυψις he had mentioned, and not to human communication and instruction. In the first place, in Galatians 1:13-14, he calls to their remembrance his well-known conduct whilst a Jew; for, as a persecutor of the Christians and a Pharisaic zealot, he could not but be the less fitted for human instruction in the gospel, which must, on the contrary, have come to him in that superhuman mode.

ἠκούσατε] emphatically prefixed, indicates that what is contained in Galatians 1:13-14, is something already well known to his readers, which therefore required only to be recalled, not to be proved.

τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν ποτε ἐν τῷ ἰουδαϊσμῷ] my previous course of life in Judaism, how I formerly behaved myself as a Jew. ἰουδαϊσμός is not Judaistic zeal and activity (Matthies, “when I was still out and out a Jew;” comp. Schott), but just simply Judaism, as his national religious condition: see 2 Maccabees 2:21; 2 Maccabees 8:1; 2 Maccabees 14:38; 4 Maccabees 4:26. It forms the historical contrast to the present χριστιανισμός of the apostle. Comp. Ignat. ad Magnes. 8, 10, Philad. 6.

ἀναστροφή in the sense of course of life, behaviour, is found, in addition to the N.T. (Ephesians 4:22; 1 Timothy 4:12, et al.) and the Apocrypha (Tobit 4:14; 2 Maccabees 5:8), only in later Greek, such as Polyb. iv. 82. 1. See Wetstein.

ποτε ἐν τῷ ἰουδ.] a definition of time attached to τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν, in which the repetition of τήν was not necessary. Comp. Plat. Legg. iii. p. 685 D, τῆς τροίας ἅλωσις τὸ δεύτερον. Soph. O. R. 1043, τοῦ τυράννου τῆσδε γῆς πάλαι ποτέ. Philippians 1:26. Comp. also on 1 Corinthians 8:7 and on 2 Corinthians 11:23

ὅτι καθʼ ὑπερβολὴν κ. τ. λ.] a more precise definition of the object of ἠκούσατε, that I, namely, beyond measure persecuted, etc. On καθʼ ὑπερβολήν, the sense of which bears a superlative relation to σφόδρα, comp. Romans 7:13; 1 Corinthians 12:31; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Bernhardy, p. 241.

τοῦ θεοῦ] added in the painful consciousness of the wickedness and guilt of such doings. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:9; 1 Timothy 1:13

ἐπόρθουν] is not to be understood de conatu (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Menochius, and others); Paul was then actually engaged in the work of destruction (Acts 22:4, comp. Acts 9:1, Acts 26:10-11), and therefore it is not to be understood (with Beza, Piscator, Estius, Winer, Usteri, and Schott) merely as vastavi, depopulatus sum (Hom. Od. xiv. 264, ἀγροὺς πόρθεον, et al.). Paul wished to be not a mere devastator, not a mere disturber (see Luther’s translation), but a destroyer(26) of the church; and as such he was active (Hom. Il. iv. 308, πόλιας καὶ τείχεʼ ἐπόρθουν, et al.). Moreover, in the classic authors also πορθεῖν and πέρθειν are applied not only to things, but also to men (comp. Acts 9:21) in the sense of bringing to ruin and the like. See Heindorf, ad Plat. Prot. p. 340 A Lobeck, ad Soph. Aj. 1187; Jacobs, Del. epigr. i. 80.


Verse 14

Galatians 1:14. Still dependent on ὅτι.

καί] the προκόπτειν ἐν τῷ ἰουδαϊσμῷ had then been combined in Paul with his hostile action against Christianity, had kept pace with it.

ἰουδαϊσμός, not Jewish theology (Grotius, Rückert), but just as in Galatians 1:13. Judaism was the sphere in which he advanced further and improved more than those of his age by growth in Jewish culture, in Jewish zeal for the law, in Jewish energy of works, etc. On προκόπτειν as intransitive (Luke 2:52; 2 Timothy 2:16; 2 Timothy 3:9; 2 Timothy 3:13), very frequent in Polyb., Lucian, etc., comp. Jacobs, ad Anthol. X. p. 35; on ἐν τ. ἰουδ., comp. Lucian, Herm. 63, ἐν τοῖς μαθήμασι, Paras. 13, ἐν ταῖς τέχναις.

συνηλικιώτης] one of the same age, occurring only here in the N.T., a word belonging to the later Greek (Diod. Sic. i. 53? Alciphr. i. 12). See Wetstein. The ancient authors use ἡλικιώτης (Plat. Apol. p. 33 C, and frequently).

ἐν τῷ γένει μου] a more precise definition of συνηλικ.; γένει is therefore, in conformity with the context (comp. ἐν τῷ ἰουδ.), to be understood in a national sense,(27) and not of the sect of the Pharisees (Paulus). Comp. Philippians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 11:26; Romans 9:3; Acts 7:19.

περισσοτέρως ζηλωτὴς ὑπάρχων κ. τ. λ.] a more detailed statement, specifying in what way the προέκοπτονγένει μου found active expression; “so that I” etc.

περισσοτέρως] than those πολλοί. They, too, were zealous for the traditions of their fathers (whether like Paul they were Pharisees, or not); but Paul was so in a more superabundant measure for his.

τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεων] endeavouring with zealous interest to obey, uphold, and assert them. On the genitive of the object, comp. 2 Maccabees 4:2; Acts 21:20; Acts 22:3; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Titus 2:14; Plat. Prot. p. 343 A. The πατρικαί μου παραδόσεις, that is, the religious definitions handed down to me from my fathers (in respect to doctrine, ritual, asceticism, interpretation of Scripture, conduct of life, and the like), are the Pharisaic traditions (comp. Matthew 5:21; Matthew 15:2; Mark 7:3); for Paul was φαρισαῖος (Philippians 3:5; Acts 26:5), υἱὸς φαρισαίων (Acts 23:6). So also Erasmus (Annot.), Beza, Calovius, de Wette, Hofmann, and others. If Paul had intended to refer to the Mosaic law, either alone (Erasmus, Paraphr., Luther, Calvin, and others) or together with the Pharisaic traditions (Estius, Grotius, Calixtus, Morus, Koppe, Flatt, Winer, Usteri, Rückert, Schott, Olshausen, Hilgenfeld, Wieseler, “the law according to the strict rule of Pharisaism,” comp. Möller), he would have named the law either by itself or along with the traditions (Acts 21:20; Acts 22:3; 2 Maccabees 4:2); but by μου he limits the πατρικὰς παραδόσεις to the special elements resulting from his descent, which did not apply to those who were in different circumstances as to descent; whereas the law applied to all Jews. Comp., as parallel, Acts 26:5. That Paul had been zealous for the law in general, followed as a matter of course from προέκοπτ. ἐν τ. ἰουδαϊσμῷ; but here he is stating the specific way in which his own peculiar προκόπτειν ἐν ἰουδαϊσμῷ had displayed itself—his Pharisaic zealotry. It would have been surprising if in this connection he had omitted to mention the latter.

πατρικός, not found elsewhere in the N.T., means paternal. Comp. LXX. Genesis 50:8; Leviticus 22:13; Sirach 42:10; 3 Esd. 1:5, 29; 4 Maccabees 18:7; Plat. Lach. p. 180 E, Soph. p. 242 A Isocr. Evag. p. 218, 35; Diod. Sic. i. 88; Polyb. i. 78. 1; Athen. xv. p. 667 F. In this case the context alone decides whether the idea a patribus acceptus ( πατροπαράδοτος, 1 Peter 1:18) is conveyed by it, as in this passage by ΄ου, or not (as, for instance, Polyb. xxi. 5, 7). The former is very frequently the case. As to the much discussed varying distinction between πάτριος, πατρικός, and πατρῷος, comp. on Acts 22:3.


Verse 15

Galatians 1:15. But when it pleased, etc. Comp. Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 15:26; Colossians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Thessalonians 3:1. It denotes, of course, the free placuit of the divine decree, but is here conceived as an act in time, which is immediately followed by the execution of it, not as from eternity (Beza).

ἀφορίσας με ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου] who separated me, that is, in His counsel set me apart from other men for a special destination, from my mother’s womb; that is, not in the womb (Wieseler); nor, from the time when I was in the womb (Hofmann, comp. Möller); nor, ere I was born (Rückert); but, as soon as I had issued from the womb, from my birth. Comp. Psalms 22:11; Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 49:1; Isaiah 49:5; Matthew 19:12; Acts 3:2; Acts 14:8 (in Luke 1:15, where ἔτι is added, the thought is different). ἐκ γενετῆς, John 9:1, has the same meaning. Comp. the Greek ἐκ γαστρός, and the like. We must not assume a reference to Jeremiah 1:5 (Grotius, Semler, Reithmayr, and others), for in that passage there is an essentially different definition of time ( πρὸ τοῦ με πλάσαι σε ἐν κοιλίᾳ κ. τ. λ.). We may add, that this designation of God completely corresponds with Paul’s representation of his apostolic independence of men. What it was, to which God had separated him from his birth and had called him (at Damascus), is of course evident in itself and from Galatians 1:1; but it also results from the sequel (Galatians 1:16). It was the apostleship, which he recognised as a special proof of free and undeserved divine grace (Romans 1:4; Romans 12:3; Romans 15:15; 1 Corinthians 15:10); hence here also he adds διὰ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ.(28) Rückert is wrong in asserting that καλέσας cannot refer here to the call at Damascus, but can only denote the calling to salvation and the apostleship in the Divine mind. In favour of this view he adduces the aorist, which represents the κλῆσις as previous to the εὐδόκησεν ἀποκαλύψαι, and also the connection of καλέσας with ἀφορίσας by means of καί. Both arguments are based upon the erroneous idea that the revelation of the gospel was coincident with the calling of the apostle. But Paul was first called at Damascus by the miraculous appearance of Christ, which laid hold of him without any detailed instruction (Philippians 3:12), and thereafter, through the apocalyptic operation of God, the Son of God was revealed in him: the κλῆσις at Damascus preceded this ἀποκάλυψις;(29) the former called him to the service, the latter furnished him with the contents, of the gospel. Comp. on Galatians 1:12. Moreover, the κλήσις is never an act in the Divine mind, but always an historical fact (Romans 8:30). This also militates against Hofmann, who makes ἐκ κοιλίας ΄ητρός ΄ου belong to καλέσας as well—a connection excluded by the very position of the words. And what a strange definition of the idea conveyed by καλεῖν, and how completely foreign to the N.T., is the view of Hofmann, who makes it designate “an act executed in the course of the formation of this man”! Moreover, our passage undoubtedly implies that by the calling and revelation here spoken of the consciousness of apostleship—and apostleship in reference to the heathen—was divinely produced in Paul, and became clear and certain. This, however, does not exclude, but is, on the contrary, a divine preparation for, the fuller development of this consciousness in its more definite aspects by means of experience and the further guidance of Christ and His Spirit.


Verse 16

Galatians 1:16. ἀποκαλύψαι] belongs to εὐδόκησεν; but ἐν ἐμοί is in my mind, in my consciousness, in which the Son of God was to become manifest as the sum and substance of knowledge (Philippians 3:8); comp. 2 Corinthians 4:6, ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν. See Chrysostom, τῆς ἀποκαλύψεως καταλαμπούσης αὐτοῦ τὴν ψυχήν. Comp. Oecum. ( εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον τῆς γνώσεως ἐνιζησάσης), Theophylact, Beza, and most expositors. Calvin, Koppe, Flatt, and others, wrongly hold that it stands for the mere dative. Comp. Bengel. But ἐν is never nota dativi, and all the passages adduced to that effect (such as 1 Corinthians 9:15; 1 Corinthians 14:11; 1 Timothy 4:15; Acts 4:12, et al.) are to be so explained that ἐν shall retain its signification (Winer, p. 204 [E. T. 272]); as must also be the case in the passages used to support the sense of the dativus commodi (see Bernhardy, p. 212). Jerome, Pelagius, Erasmus, Piscator, Vorstius, Grotius, Estius, Morus, Baumgarten-Crusius, and others, interpret it through me, “ut per me, velut organum, notum redderet filium suum” (Erasmus, Paraphr.). But the revelation given to the apostle himself is a necessary element in the connection (Galatians 1:12): Paul was immediately after his birth set apart by God, subsequently called at Damascus, and thereafter provided inwardly with the revelation of the Son of God, in order that he might be able outwardly to preach, etc. Others, again,(30) take it as “on me,” in my case, which is explained to mean either that the conversion appeared as a proof of Christ’s power, etc. (Peter Lombard, Seb. Schmidt), or that the revelation had been imparted to the apostle as matter of fact, by means of his own experience, or, in other words, through his own case (Rückert). Comp. 1 John 4:9, ἐφανερώθη ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν. But the former explanation is unsuitable to the context, and the latter again depends on the erroneous identification of the calling of the apostle at Damascus with the revelation of the gospel which he received.

τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ] This is the great foundation and whole sum of the gospel. Comp. Galatians 1:6 f., Galatians 2:20. In his pre-Christian blindness Paul had known Christ κατὰ σάρκα, 2 Corinthians 5:16.

εὐαγγελίζω΄αι] Present tense;(31) for the fulfilment of this destination which had even then been assigned to him by God (Acts 9:15; Acts 22:15; Acts 26:17 f.) was, at the time when the epistle was written, still in course of execution (Klotz, ad Devar. p. 618). Thus, in opposition to his adversaries, the continuous divine right and obligation of this apostolic action is asserted.

ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν] among the heathen peoples. See Acts 9:15; Acts 22:21; Acts 26:17-18; Ephesians 3:8; Romans 11:13. The fact that Paul always began his work of conversion with the Jews resident among the Gentiles, was not inconsistent with his destination as the apostle of the Gentiles; this, indeed, was the way of calling adopted by the Gentile apostle in accordance with that destination (see Romans 1:16). Comp. Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 37.

εὐθέως] does not belong exclusively either to the negative (Hilgenfeld, Hofmann) or to the affirmative part of the apodosis (Winer); but as the two parts themselves are inseparably associated, it belongs to the whole sentence οὐ προσανεθέμηνἀλλὰ ἀπῆλθον εἰς ἀραβ., “Immediately I took not counsel with flesh and blood, nor did I make a journey to Jerusalem, but,” etc. He expresses that which he had done immediately after he had received the revelation, by way of antithesis, negatively and positively; for it was his object most assiduously to dispel the notion that he had received human instruction. Jerome, in order to defend the apostle against Porphyry’s unjust reproach of presumption and fickleness, connects εὐθέως with εὐαγγελίζω΄αι; as recently Credner, Einl. I. 1, p. 303, has also done. No objection can be taken to the emphasis of the adverb at the end of the sentence (Kühner, II. p. 625; Bornemann, ad Xen. Anab. ii. 6. 9; Stallbaum, ad Phaedr. p. 256 E); but the whole strength of the proof lies not in what Paul was immediately to do, but in what he, had immediately done. “Notatur subita habilitas apostoli,” Bengel. We must, moreover, allow εὐθέως to retain its usual strict signification, and not, with Hofmann,(32) substitute the sense of “immediately then,” “just at once” (“not at a subsequent time only”), as if Paul had written ἤδη ἐκ τότε or the like. Observe, too, on comparing the book of Acts, that the purposely added εὐθέως still does not exclude a brief ministry in Damascus previous to the journey to Arabia (Acts 9:20), the more especially as his main object was to show, that he had gone from Damascus to no other place than Arabia, and had not until three years later gone to Jerusalem. To make special mention of his brief working in Damascus, before his departure to Arabia, was foreign to the logical scope of his statement.

οὐ προσανεθέμην] I addressed no communication to flesh and blood, namely, in order to learn the opinion of others as to this revelation which I had received, and to obtain from them instruction, guidance, and advice. πρός conveys the notion of direction, not, as Beza and Bengel assert (comp. also Usteri and Jatho), the idea praeterea.(33) See Diod. Sic. xvii. 116, τοῖς ΄άντεσι προσαναθέ΄ενος περὶ τοῦ ση΄είου; Lucian, Jup. Trag. 1, ἐμοὶ προσανάθου, λάβε με σύμβουλον πόνων, in contrast to the preceding κατα΄όνας σαυτῷ λαλεῖς; Nicetas, Angel. Comnen ii. 5. Comp. C. F. A. Fritzsche in Fritzschior. Opusc. p. 204. Just so προσαναφέρειν, 2 Maccabees 11:36; Tobit 12:15; Polyb. xxxi. 19. 4, xvii. 9. 10.

σαρκὶ καὶ αἵ΄ατι] that is, to weak men, in contrast to the experience of God’s working. See on Matthew 16:17. Ephesians 6:12 is also analogous. Comp. the rabbinical בָּשָׂר וְדָם (Lightfoot on Matt. l.c.). As the apostle was concerned simply to show that he was not ἀνθρωποδίδακτος, it is wholly unsuitable in this connection to refer σαρκὶ κ. αἵ΄. to himself (Koppe, Ewald), and unsuitable, as regards half the reference, to apply it to others and the apostle himself (Winer, Matthies, Schott, comp. Olshausen). He is speaking simply of the consultation of others (Beza, Grotius, Calovius, Zachariae, Morus, Rosenmüller, Borger, Flatt, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Hilgenfeld, Wieseler, Hofmann, and others), and that quite generally: “having received this divine revelation, I did not take weak men as my counsellors.” In the continuation of the discourse towards its climax the apostles are specially brought into prominence as members of this category, and therefore σαρκὶ κ. αἵμ. is not (with Chrysostom, Jerome, Theophylact, Oecumenius, and others) at once to be referred to the apostles themselves, although they also are included in it.


Verse 17

Galatians 1:17. Neither went I away (from Damascus) to Jerusalem, unto those who were apostles before me; but I went away into Arabia. So according to Lachmann’s reading; see the critical notes. τοὺς πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἀποστ. is written by Paul in the consciousness of his full equality of apostolic rank (beginning from Damascus), in which nothing but greater seniority pertained to the older apostles. On the twice-employed emphatic ἀπῆλθον, comp. Romans 8:15; Hebrews 12:18 ff.; Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 137.

εἰς ἀραβίαν] It is possible that some special personal reason, unknown to us, induced him to choose this particular country. The region was heathen, containing, however, many Jews of the Diaspora (Acts 2:11). This journey, which is to be looked upon not as having for its object a quiet preparation (Schrader, Köhler, Rückert, Schott), but (comp. Rom. Introd. § 1) as a first, certainly fervent experiment of extraneous ministry,(34) and which was of short duration,(35) is not mentioned in Acts. Perhaps not known to Luke at all, it is most probably to be placed in the period of the ἱκαναὶ ἡμέραι, Acts 9:23,—an inexact statement of the interval between the conversion and the journey to Jerusalem, which betrays, on the part of Luke, only a vague and inadequate knowledge of the chronology of this period. See on Acts 9:19 ff. Paul mentions the journey here, because he had to show—following the continuous thread of the history—that, in the first period after his conversion, he had not been anywhere where he could have received instruction from the apostles.

πάλιν ὑπέστρεψα] πάλιν, used on the hypothesis that the locality of the calling and revelation mentioned was well known to his readers, refers to the notion of coming conveyed in ὑπέστρ. Comp. Acts 18:21; Hom. Od. viii. 301, αὖτις ὑποστρέψας, et al.; Eur. Alc. 1022; Bornemann, ad Cyrop. iii. 3. 60; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 2. 4.


Verse 18

Galatians 1:18. ἔπειτα] After that, namely, after my second sojourn in Damascus—whence he escaped, as is related Acts 9:24 f.; 2 Corinthians 11:32 f. The more precise statement of time then follows in the words μετὰ ἔτη τρία (comp. Galatians 2:1), in which the terminus a quo is taken to be either his conversion (as by most expositors, including Winer, Fritzsche, Rückert, Usteri, Matthies, Schott, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Hilgenfeld, Ewald, Wieseler, Hofmann, Reithmayr, Caspari) or his return from Arabia (Marsh, Koppe, Borger). The former is to be preferred, as is suggested by the context in οὐδὲ ἀπῆλθον εἰς ἱεροσόλυμαμετὰ ἔτη τρία ἀνῆλθον εἰς ἱεροσολ. Comp. also on Galatians 2:1.

ἀνῆλθον εἰς ἱεροσ.] This is (contrary to Jerome’s view) the first journey to Jerusalem, not omitted in the Acts (Laurent), but mentioned in Acts 9:26. The quite untenable arguments of Köhler (Abfassungszeit, p. 1 f.) against this identity are refuted by Anger, Rat. temp. p. 124 f. It must, however, be conceded that the account in Acts must receive a partial correction from our passage (see on Acts 9:26 f.); a necessity, however, which is exaggerated by Baur, Hilgenfeld, and Zeller, and is attributed to intentional alteration of the history on the part of the author of Acts, it being supposed that the latter was unwilling to do the very thing which Paul in our passage wishes, namely, to bring out his independence of the original apostles. But this consciousness of independence is not to be exaggerated, as if Paul had felt himself “alien in the very centre of his being” from Peter (Holsten).

ἱστορῆσαι κηφᾶν] in order to make the personal acquaintance of Cephas; not, therefore, in order to obtain instruction. But the position of Peter as κορυφαῖος (Theodoret) in the apostolic circle, especially urged by the Catholics (see Windischmann and Reithmayr), appears at all events from this passage to have been then known to Paul and acknowledged by him. ἱστορεῖν, coram cognoscere, which does not occur elsewhere in the N.T., is found in this sense applied to a person also in Joseph. Bell. vi. 1. 8, οὐκ ἄσημος ὤν ἀνὴρ, ὃν ἐγὼ κατʼ ἐκεῖνον ἱστόρησα τὸν πόλεμον, Antt. i. 11. 4, viii. 2. 5; frequently also in the Clementines. It is often used by Greek authors (comp also the passages from Josephus in Krebs, Obss. p. 318) in reference to things, as τὴν πόλιν, τὴν χώραν, τὴν νόσον κ. τ. λ. See Wetstein and Kypke. Bengel, moreover, well says: “grave verbum ut de re magna; non dixit ἰδεῖν (as in John 12:21) sed ἱστορῆσαι.” Comp. Chrysostom.

καὶ ἐπέμεινα πρὸς αὐτόν] Comp. 1 Corinthians 16:7. πρός, with, conveys the direction of the intercourse implied in ἐπέμ. Comp. Matthew 26:55; John 1:1; and the passages in Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 202. Comp. Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 653.

ἡμέρας δεκαπέντε] For the historical cause why he did not remain longer, see Acts 9:29; Acts 22:17 ff. The intention, however, which induced Paul to specify the time, is manifest from the whole connection,—that the reader might judge for himself whether so short a sojourn, the object of which was to become personally acquainted for the first time with Peter, could have been also intended for the further object of receiving evangelic instruction, especially when Paul had himself been preaching the gospel already so long (for three years). This intention is denied by Rückert, because the period of fifteen days was not so short but that during it Paul might have been instructed by Peter. But Paul is giving an historical account; and in doing this the mention of a time so short could not but be welcome to him for his purpose, without his wishing to give it forth as a stringent proof. This, notwithstanding what Paul emphatically adds in Galatians 1:19, it certainly was not, as is evident even from the high representative repute of Peter.(36) But the briefer his stay at that time, devoted to making the personal acquaintance of Peter, had been, the more it told against the notion of his having received instruction, although Paul naturally could not, and would not, represent this time as shorter than it had really been. Rückert’s arbitrary conjecture is therefore quite superfluous, that Paul mentions the fifteen days on account of the false allegation of his opponents that he had been first brought to Christianity by the apostles, or had, at any rate, spent a long time with them and as their disciple, but that he sought ungratefully and arrogantly either to conceal or deny these facts. According to Holsten, Peter and James were the representatives of the ἕτερον εὐαγγ., who in consequence could not have exerted any influence on Paul’s Gentile gospel. But this they were not at all. See on Galatians 2:1 ff. and on Acts 15.


Verse 19

Galatians 1:19. But another of the apostles saw I not, save James the brother of the Lord. Thus this James is distinguished indeed from the circle of the twelve (1 Corinthians 15:5) to which Peter belonged, but yet is included in the number of the apostles, namely in the wider sense (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:7; 1 Corinthians 9:5); which explains the merely supplementary mention of this apostle. After εἰ μή we must supply not εἶδον merely (as Grotius, Fritzsche ad Matth. p. 482, Winer, Bleek in Stud. u. Krit. 1836, p. 1059, Wieseler), but, as the context requires, εἶδον τὸν ἀπόστολον.

ἕτερον is not qualitative here, as in Galatians 1:6, but stands in contrast to the one who is named, Peter. In addition to the latter he saw not one more of the apostles, except only that he saw the apostle in the wider sense of the term

James the brother of the Lord (who indeed belonged to the church at Jerusalem as its president),—a fact which conscientiously he will not leave unmentioned.

On the point that James the brother of the Lord was not James the son of Alphaeus,—as, following Clemens Alex., Jerome, Augustine, Pelagius, Chrysostom, and Theodoret, most modern scholars, and among the expositors of the epistle Matthies, Usteri, Schott, Baumgarten-Crusius, Jatho, Hofmann, Reithmayr, maintain,—but a real brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:35; Mark 6:3), the son of Mary, called James the Just (Heges. in Eus. ii. 23), who, having been a Nazarite from his birth, and having become a believer after the resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:7; Acts 1:14), attained to very high apostolic reputation among the Jewish Christians (Galatians 2:9), and was the most influential presbyter of the church at Jerusalem,(37) see on Acts 12:17; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Huther on Ep. of James, Introd. § 1; Laurent, neutest. Stud. p. 175 ff. By the more precise designation, τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου, he is distinguished not only from the elder James, the brother of John (Hofmann and others), but also from James the son of Alphaeus, who was one of the twelve. Comp. Victorinus, “cum autem fratrem dixit, apostolum negavit.” The whole figment of the identity of this James with the son of Alphaeus is a result of the unscriptural (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7) although ecclesiastically orthodox (Form. Conc. p. 767) belief (extending beyond the birth of Christ) in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Comp. on Matthew 12:46; 1 Corinthians 9:5. We may add that the statement, that Paul at this time saw only Peter and James at Jerusalem, is not at variance with the inexact expression τοὺς ἀποστόλους, Acts 9:27, but is an authentic historical definition of it, of a more precise character.


Verse 20

Galatians 1:20. Not a parenthesis, but, at the conclusion of what Paul has just related of that first sojourn of his at Jerusalem after his conversion (namely, that he had travelled thither to make the acquaintance of Cephas, had remained with him fifteen days, and had seen none of the other apostles besides, only James the brother of the Lord), an affirmation by oath that in this he had spoken the pure truth. The importance of the facts he had just related for his object—to prove his apostolic independence—induced him to make this sacred assurance. For if Paul had ever been a disciple of the apostles, he must have become so then, when he was with the apostles at Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion; but not only had he been there with another object in view, and for so few days, but he had also met with James only, besides Peter. The reference to all that had been said from Galatians 1:12 (Calvin, Koppe, Winer, Matthies), or at least to Galatians 1:15-19 (Hofmann), is precluded by the fact that ἔπειτα in Galatians 1:18 begins a fresh section of the report (comp. Galatians 1:21; Galatians 2:1), beyond which there is no reason to go back.

The sentence is so constructed that δὲ γράφω ὑμῖν stands emphatically by itself as an anacoluthon; and before ὅτι, that, we have again to supply γράφω, But what I write to you—behold in the sight of God I write, that I lie not; that is, in respect to what I write to you, I write, I assure you before the face of God ( לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה, so that I have God present as witness), that I lie not. Comp. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 338. Schott takes ὅτι as since, “coram Deo scribo, siquidem non mentior,” whereby δὲ γρ. ὑμ. does not appear as an anacoluthon. But this siquidem non mentior would be very flat; whereas the anacoluthon of the prefixed relative sentence is precisely in keeping with the fervency of the language (comp. Matthew 10:14; Luke 21:6, and the note thereon). The completely parallel protestation also, θεὸςοἶδενὅτι οὐ ψεύδομαι (2 Corinthians 11:31; comp. Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 1:23), is quite unfavourable to the explanation of ὅτι as siquidem. To supply with Bengel, Paulus, and Rückert (comp. Jerome), an ἐστί after θεοῦ ( ὅτι, that), does not make the construction easier (Rückert); on the contrary, it is arbitrary, and yields an unprecedented mode of expression.


Verse 21

Galatians 1:21. After this stay of fifteen days in Jerusalem ( ἔπειτα, comp. Galatians 1:18), I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and consequently was again far enough away from the seat of the apostles!

τῆς συρίας] As it is said in Acts 9:30 that Paul was accompanied from Jerusalem to Caesarea, it is assumed by most modern expositors: “Syriae earn partem dicit, cui Phoenices nomen fuit,” Winer. So also Koppe, Rückert, Usteri, Matthies, Schott. Comp. Matthew 4:24; Acts 21:3. This view runs entirely counter to the design of the apostle. For here his main concern was to bring out his comparatively wide separation from Judaea, as it had occurred in his actual history; the whole context (comp. Galatians 1:22) shows that it was so, and therefore the reader could only understand τῆς συρίας as meaning Syria proper (with Antioch as its capital). It could not in the least occur to him to think of Phoenicia (which even Wieseler, though not understanding it alone to be referred to, includes), the more especially as alongside of τῆς συρίας Cilicia, which borders on Syria proper, is immediately named (comp. Acts 15:23; Acts 15:41; Plin. v. 22, xviii. 30). An appeal is also wrongly made to Matthew 4:24 (where, in the language of hyperbole, a very large district—namely, the whole province of Syria, of which Judaea and Samaria formed portions—is meant to be designated) and Acts 21:3 (where likewise the Roman province is intended, and that only loosely and indefinitely with reference to the coast district(38)). The relation of our passage to Acts 9:30 is this: On leaving Jerusalem, Paul desired to visit Syria and Cilicia; he was accordingly conducted by the Christians as far as the first stage, Caesarea (the Roman capital of Judaea, not Caesarea Philippi), and thence he went on by land to Syria and Cilicia. Comp. on Acts 9:30.

For what object he visited Syria and Cilicia, he does not state; but for this very reason, and in accordance with Galatians 1:5, it cannot be doubted that he preached the gospel there. Tarsus was certainly the central point of this ministry; it was at Tarsus that Barnabas sought and found him (Acts 11:25).


Verse 22

Galatians 1:22. But I was so completely a stranger to the land of Judaea, that at the time of my sojourn in Syria and Cilicia I was personally unknown to the churches, etc. These statements (Galatians 1:22-24) likewise go to prove that Paul had not been a disciple of the apostles, which is indeed the object aimed at in the whole of the context. As a pupil of the apostles, he would have remained in communication with Jerusalem; and thence issuing, he would first of all have exercised his ministry in the churches of Judaea, and would have become well known to them. According to Hofmann, the end at which Paul aims in Galatians 1:22 f. is conveyed by καὶ ἐδόξαζον κ. τ. λ. in Galatians 1:24, so that Galatians 1:22-23 are only related to this as the protasis to the apodosis. This idea is at variance with the independent and important nature of the two affirmations in Galatians 1:22-23; if Paul had intended to give them so subordinate a position as that which Hofmann supposes, he would have done it by a participial construction ( ἀγνοοῦντες δὲμόνον δὲ ἀκούοντες, ὅτι κ. τ. λ., ἐδόξαζον κ. τ. λ.), perhaps also with the addition of καίπερ, or in some other marked way. In the form in which the apostle has written it, his report introduced by ἔπειτα in Galatians 1:21 is composed of propositions quite as independent as those following ἔπειτα in Galatians 1:18, and Galatians 1:22-23 cannot be intended merely to introduce Galatians 1:24. Hofmann is therefore the more incorrect in asserting that Paul, from Galatians 1:21 onwards, is not continuing the proof of his apostolic independence in contradistinction to the other apostles, but is exhibiting the harmony of his preaching with the faith of the mother-church at Jerusalem and its apostles. Others, inconsistently with the context, suppose that Paul desired to refute the allegation that he had been a learner from the churches of Judaea (Oecumenius, Gomarus, Olshausen), or that he himself had taught judaistically in Judaea (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Grotius; comp. Usteri), or that he had visited Syria and Cilicia as the deputy of the churches of Judaea (Michaelis).

τῷ προσώπῳ] as regards the (my) countenance, that is, personally. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:17.

ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῆς ἰουδ.] This is meant to refer to the churches out of Jerusalem, consequently in the ἰουδαία γῆ, John 3:22. For that he was known to the church in the capital is not only a matter of inference from his pre-Christian activity, but is certain from that fifteen days’ visit (Galatians 1:18), and is attested by Acts 9:26-30. Neither in Acts 9:26-30 nor in Acts 26:19 f. (see on these passages) is there any such inconsistency with the passage before us, as has been urged against the historical character of the Acts, especially by Hilgenfeld, Baur, and Zeller.


Verse 23-24

Galatians 1:23-24. δέ] places μόνον ἀκούοντες ἦσαν in correlation to ἤμην ἀγνοούμενος τῷ προσώπῳ; it is not, however, to be understood as a mere repetition of the former δέ (Hofmann), for it introduces another(39) subject (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 97). The masculine refers to the persons of whom those ἐκκλησίαι consisted. See Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 39; Winer, p. 586 [E. T. 787]. The participle with ἦσαν, however, does not stand for the simple imperfect (Luther renders quite incorrectly, “they had heard”), but prominence is given to the predicate as the main point. See Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 1179. The clause expresses the sole relation in which they were to Paul; they were simply in a position to hear. “Rumor apud illos erat,” Erasmus. Comp. Vulgate: “tantum autem auditum habebant.”

ὅτι διώκων ἡμᾶς ποτε κ. τ. λ.] ὅτι is explained most simply, not by a supposed transition from the indirect to the direct form (so most expositors, including Rückert and Wieseler), but as the recitativum (Matthies, Schott, Hilgenfeld, Ewald, Hofmann), the use of which by Paul is certain not merely in quotations of Scripture, but also in other cases (Romans 3:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:10). Moreover, the statement thus gains in vividness. In διώκων ἡμᾶς, ἡμᾶς applies to the Christians generally; the joyful information came to them from Christian lips (partly from inhabitants of Jerusalem, partly perhaps directly from Syrians and Cilicians). The present participle does not stand for the aorist (Grotius), but quite substantivally: our (former) persecutor. See Winer, p. 331 [E. T. 444]; Bremi, ad Dem. adv. Aphob. 17.

τὴν πίστιν] never means Christian doctrine (Beza, Grotius, Morus, Koppe, Rückert, and others), not even in Acts 6:7, where faith in Christ is conceived as the authority commanding submission (comp. on Romans 1:5); it denotes the faith—regarded, however, objectively. Comp. on Galatians 3:2; Galatians 3:23. He preaches the faith (in the Son of God, Galatians 1:16), which formerly he destroyed. On the latter point Estius justly remarks, “quia Christi fidelibus fidem extorquere persequendo nitebatur.” Comp. Galatians 1:13.

ἐν ἐμοί] does not mean propter me (as was generally assumed before Winer), in support of which an appeal was erroneously made to Ephesians 4:1 et al.: for ἐν, used with persons, is never on account of (Winer, p. 363 [E. T. 484]); but it means, “they praised God on me,” so that their praise of God was based on me as the vehicle and instrument of the divine grace and efficacy (1 Corinthians 15:10). God made Himself known to them by my case, and so they praised Him; ὅλον γὰρ τὸ κατʼ ἐμέ, φησί, τῆς χάριτος ἦν τοῦ θεοῦ, Oecumenius. Comp. John 17:10; Sirach 47:6. See generally Bernhardy, p. 210; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 598. It was not, however, without a purpose, but with a just feeling of satisfaction, that Paul added καὶ ἐδόξαζον ἐν ἐμοὶ τὸν θεόν; for this impression, which Paul then made on the churches in Judaea, stood in startling contrast to the hateful proceedings against him of the Judaizers in Galatia.

Mark further (in opposition to Holstein and others), how Galatians 1:23 rests on the legitimate assumption that Paul preached in substance no other gospel than that which those churches had received from Jerusalem, although they were not yet instructed in the special peculiarities of his preaching; as, in fact, the antagonism between the Pauline teaching and Judaism did not become a matter of public interest until later (Acts 15:1).

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Galatians 1:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/galatians-1.html. 1832.

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