corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.20.06.03
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Galatians 2

 

 

Verse 1

Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

Translate, 'After [ dia (Greek #1223)] fourteen years'-namely, from Paul's conversion inclusive (Alford). In the 14th year from it (Birks). The same visit, his third, to Jerusalem, as Acts 15:1-41 (A.D. 50 AD), when the apostles and church in council decided that Gentile Christians need not be circumcised. His emitting allusion to that decree is:

(1) Because his design is to show his own independent apostolic authority, whence he would not support himself by their decision. Thus general councils are not above apostles.

(2) He argues upon principle, not authoritative decisions.

(3) The decree did not go the length of the position here: the council merely did not impose Mosaic ordinances; the apostle maintains the Mosaic institution itself is at an end.

(4) The Galatians were Judaizing, not because the Jewish law was imposed by the Church as necessary to Christianity, but because they thought it necessary to these who aspired to higher perfection (Galatians 3:3; Galatians 4:21).

The decree would not disprove their view, and therefore would have been useless to quote. Paul confutes them far more directly, 'Christ is of no effect unto you, whosoever are justified by the law' (Galatians 5:4) (Paley).

Titus with me also - specified on account of what follows as to him in Galatians 2:3. Paul and Barnabas, and others, were deputed by the church of Antioch (Acts 15:2) to consult the apostles and elders at Jerusalem on the circumcision of Gentile Christians.


Verse 2

And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

By revelation. Not to satisfy doubts of my commission, but by divine "revelation," which showed him more than the Church knew of the import of the crisis. Quite consistent with his also being a deputy from the church of Antioch, as Acts 15:2 states. He by this revelation was led to suggest the sending of the deputation. So Peter was led by vision, and at the same time by Cornelius' messengers, to go to Caesarea, (Acts 10:1-48.)

I ... communicated unto them - to the Christians at Jerusalem, the Gospel in general, as I preached it.

But privately - that he and they might decide previously on the principles to be set forward before the public council. The Jerusalem apostles should know beforehand that the particular doctrine Paul preached to the Gentiles was the same as theirs, and had received divine confirmation in the results worked on the Gentiles. He and Barnabas related to the multitude, not the details of doctrine they preached (as Paul did privately to the apostles), but only the general facts and the miracles vouchsafed in proof of God's sanctioning their preaching to the Gentiles (Acts 15:2; Acts 15:4; Acts 15:12).

To them which were of reputation - James, Cephas, and John, and probably some of the "elders" (Galatians 2:6; Galatians 2:9). lest, etc. - i:e., that they might see that I am not running, and have not run, in vain. Paul does not himself fear lest he be running, or had run, in vain; but lest he should, if he gave them no explanation, seem so to them. His race was the swift-running proclamation of the Gospel to the Gentiles (cf. "Word ... have free course" - literally, "run," 2 Thessalonians 3:1). His running would have been in vain, had circumcision been necessary, since he did not require it of big converts.


Verse 3

But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

But. So far were they from regarding me as running in vain, that 'not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek (and therefore uncircumcised), was compelled to be circumcised.' The "false brethren," Galatians 2:4 ("certain of the Pharisees which believed," Acts 15:5), demanded his circumcision. The apostles, constrained by the firmness of Paul and Barnabas (Galatians 2:5), did not insist on his being circumcised. Thus, they sanctioned Paul's course among the Gentiles, and admitted his independence as an apostle-the point he desires to set forth here. Timothy, however, being a proselyte of the gate, and son of a Jewess (Acts 16:1), he circumcised (Acts 16:3). Christianity did not interfere with Jewish usages, regarded merely as social ordinances (though no longer religiously significant), in the case of Jews and proselytes, while the Jewish polity and temple stood; after their overthrow, those usages necessarily ceased. To insist on Jewish usages for Gentile converts would have been to make them essential parts of Christianity. To violate them abruptly in the case of Jews would have been inconsistent with that charity which (in matters indifferent) becomes all things to all men, that by all means it may win some (1 Corinthians 9:22 : cf. Romans 14:1-7; Romans 14:13-23). Paul brought Titus with him as a living example of the power of the Gospel upon uncircumcised pagan.


Verse 4

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

And that - i:e., My and their not permitting Titus to be circumcised wan not from contempt of circumcision, but 'on account of the false brethren' (Acts 15:1; Acts 15:24) who, had we yielded to their demand, would have perverted the case into a proof that we deemed circumcision necessary.

Unawares - in an underhand manner, intrusively [ pareisaktous (Greek #3920)] brought in.

Who [ hoitines (G3748), being such as] came in privily - stealthily.

To spy out - as foes in the guise of friends-wishing to rob us of our liberty-from the ceremonial yoke. If they had found that we circumcised Titus through fear of the apostles, they would have made that a ground for imposing the legal yoke on the Gentiles.

That they might bring us into bondage. The [ katadouloosousin (Greek #2615)] future implies the resulting certainty and continuance of the bondage: 'that (or whereby) they shall completely [ kata (Greek #2596)] enslave us.'


Verse 5

To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

'To whom not, even for an hour did we yield, by subjection.' Ellicott renders the Greek article 'by yielding THE subjection they claimed.' We would willingly have yielded for love (Bengel) (if no principle was at issue), but not in the way of subjection, where 'the truth of the Gospel' (Galatians 2:14; Colossians 1:5) was at stake (namely, the fundamental truth, justification by faith only, without the works of the law: cf. Galatians 1:6). Truth abandons nothing that belongs to it-admits nothing inconsistent with it.

Might continue [permanently: diameinee (G1265)] with you - Gentiles. We defended for your sakes your faith and liberties, which you are now renouncing.


Verse 6

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

Greek, 'From those who,' etc. He meant to add, 'I derived no special advantage;' but he, alters it into "they ... added nothing to me."

Seemed to be somewhat - i:e., not, that they seemed to be what they were not, but 'are reputed as persons of some consequence.'

Accepteth - so as to show partiality: 'respecteth no man's person' (Ephesians 6:9).

In conference added - `imparted;' the same Greek as Galatians 1:16, "I conferred not with flesh and blood." As I had not recourse for conference to them at my conversion, so they now did not impart in conference anything additional to me, above what I already knew by revelation. Ellicott translates in both passages 'addressed.' This will suit the sense, if there be added, 'addressed nothing additional (in the way of information) to me:' not otherwise. [ Emoi (Greek #1698), emphatic: "to ME," whatever they might have done to others.] This proves his independence as an apostle.


Verse 7

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Contrariwise. So far from adding any new light to ME, THEY gave in THEIR adhesion to the new path on which Barnabas and I, by independent revelation, had entered-namely, the innovation of preaching the Gospel without circumcision to the Gentiles.

When they saw - from the effects "wrought" (Galatians 2:8; Acts 15:12).

Gospel of the uncircumcision - i:e., of the Gentiles, whose circumcision was not to be required.

Was committed unto me - Greek, 'I had been permanently intrusted with, etc., as Peter was with,' etc.

Circumcision was unto Peter. Peter originally opened the door to the Gentiles (Acts 10:1-48; Acts 15:7). But in the ultimate apportionment of spheres, the Jews were assigned to him (cf. 1 Peter 1:1). So Paul wrote to the Hebrews (cf. also Colossians 4:11), though his main work was among the Gentiles. The non-mention of Peter in the list of names in Romans 16:1-27 shows that Peter's residence at Rome, much more primacy, was then unknown. The same appears from the sphere here assigned to him.


Verse 8

(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

(For - the historical fact confirms the statement (Galatians 2:7).

He - God (1 Corinthians 12:6; Philippians 2:13).

Wrought effectually - i:e., made the preached Word efficacious to conversion, not only by sensible miracles, but by the secret might of the Holy Spirit.

In Peter. Ellicott translates 'FOR Peter.' [ en (Greek #1722) would be required before Petroo (Greek #4074), after energesas (which is not a pure compound there being no form ergeo), to admit of the English version "IN Peter."] to-unto; with a view to.

Was mighty. Translate as before, the Greek being the same, "wrought effectually."

In me - `for (or "in") me also.'


Verse 9

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

James - placed first in the oldest manuscripts, before Peter, as being Bishop of Jerusalem; so presiding at the council, (Acts 15:1-41.) He was called "the Just," from his adherence to the law; and was popular among the Jewish party, though not falling into their extremes; whereas Peter was somewhat estranged from them through his conversation with Gentile Christians. To each apostle was assigned the sphere suited to his temperament; to James, tenacious of the law, the Jerusalem Jews; to Peter, who opened the door to the Gentiles, but was Judaically disposed, the Jews of the dispersion; to Paul, who, by the miraculous suddenness of his conversion, had the whole current of his Jewish prejudices turned into an opposite direction, the Gentiles. The spheres were geographical, not personal. For Paul in Gentile lands, though the apostle of the uncircumcision, always preached to the Jews first. Not individually, but collectively, the apostles represented Christ, the One Head. The twelve foundation stones of various colours are all joined together to the one great Foundation Stone on which they rest (1 Corinthians 3:11; Revelation 21:14; Revelation 21:19-20). John got an intimation in Jesus' lifetime of the admission of the Gentiles (John 12:20-24).

Seemed - i:e., were reputed (note, Galatians 2:2; Galatians 2:6) pillars; i:e., weighty supporters of the Church (cf. Proverbs 9:1; Revelation 3:12).

Perceived the grace that was given unto me (2 Peter 3:15) - the private conference issued in Paul's giving them instruction, instead of receiving it from them. Then followed the public conference, (Acts 15:1-41.)

Gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship - recognizing me as a colleague in the apostleship, and that the gospel I preached by special revelation to the Gentiles was the same as theirs. Compare Ezekiel 17:18.

Heathen - the Gentile lands.


Verse 10

Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Remember the poor - of the Jewish Christians in Judea, then distressed. Paul and Barnabas had already done so (Acts 11:28-30).

I also was forward - or 'zealous,' (Acts 24:17; Romans 15:25; 1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8:9.) Paul was zealous for good works, while denying justification by them.


Verse 11

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Peter - `Cephas' in the oldest manuscripts Paul's withstanding Peter proves the independence of Paul's apostleship in relation to the other apostles, and upsets Peter's alleged supremacy. The apostles were not always inspired; but were so always in writing the Scriptures. If, then, the inspired men who wrote them were not at other times infallible, much less were the uninspired men who kept them. The Christian fathers may be trusted as witnesses to facts, but not implicitly followed in matters of opinion.

Come to Antioch - then the citadel of the Gentile church, where first the Gospel was preached to idolatrous Gentiles, and the name "Christians" was first given (Acts 11:20; Acts 11:26). Peter is said to have been subsequently its Bishop. Paul and Barnabas went there from the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:30; Acts 15:35); and Peter soon followed. The question at Antioch was not whether the Gentiles were admissible to the Christian covenant without becoming circumcised-that was the question settled at the Jerusalem council just before-but whether the Gentile Christians were to be admitted to social intercourse with the Jews without conforming to the Jewish institution. The Judaizers, soon after the council passed the resolutions recognizing the Gentile Christians, repaired to Antioch, the scene of the gathering in of the Gentiles (Acts 11:20-26), to witness, what to Jews would look so extraordinary, the receiving of men to communion without circumcision. Regarding the Jerusalem decree with prejudice, they explained away its force; they probably also watched to see whether the Jewish Christians among the Gentiles violated the law, which that decision did not verbally sanction them, but only Gentiles, in doing (Acts 15:19).

To be blamed - `(self) condemned' [ kategnoosmenos (Greek #2607)]; his act at one time condemning his contrary acting at another (Alford) 'He was, condemned by the sounder Christians at Antioch' (Ellicott). The English version gives a better reason for Paul's withstanding him (Revelation 21:8, so uses perf. passive participle for a verbal in-teos).


Verse 12

For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Certain - men: perhaps James' view (in which he was not infallible, anymore than Peter) was, that the Jewish converts were to observe Jewish ordinances, from which he had decided the Gentiles should be free (Acts 15:19). But these self-called delegates from James were perhaps not really from him. Acts 15:24 favours this: they merely came from the church at Jerusalem under James' bishopric. Still James' leanings were to legalism, which gave him influence with the Jewish party (Acts 21:18-20).

Eat with the Gentiles - as in Acts 10:10-20; Acts 10:48; Acts 11:3-17; according to the command of the vision. Yet this same Peter, who himself preached the Gospel to the Gentile Cornelius, and so nobly vindicated his eating with them, through fear of man (Proverbs 29:25) was faithless to his own so distinctly-avowed principles (Acts 15:7-11). This, too, at Antioch, the stronghold of Christian catholicity, and Paul's center of missionary enterprise. We recognize the same old nature as led him, after faithfully witnessing for Christ, yet for a brief space to deny him. 'Ever the first to recognize, and the first to draw back from great truth' (Alford). An undesigned coincidence between the gospels and the letter in the consistency of his character. How beautifully misunderstandings of Christians are lost in Christ! In 2 Peter 3:15 Peter praises the very letters of Paul which contained his own condemnation.

But when they were come. So A C H. But B Delta F G 'Aleph (') read 'when (he) came in'-namely, some leader among them: Origen says 'James.'

Withdrew , [ hupestellen (Greek #5288), imperfect] - 'began to withdraw,' etc.: a gradual drawing back.

Separated , [ afoorizen (Greek #873)] - entire severance. First feelings are sometimes best; second thoughts are not best when prompted by self-seeking and fear. Peter betrays his old character (Matthew 14:30).


Verse 13

And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

The other , [ hoi (Greek #3588) loipoi (Greek #3062)] - 'the rest.'

Jews - Jewish Christians.

Dissembled likewise , [ sunupekritheesan (Greek #4942)] - 'joined in hypocrisy;' namely, in living as though the law were necessary to perfect justification, through fear of man, though they knew from God their Christian liberty of eating with Gentiles, and had availed themselves of it (Acts 11:2-17); yea. "rejoiced" (Acts 15:31) at the Jerusalem decree: so potent is bad example. The case was distinct from 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; 1 Corinthians 9:1-27; 1 Corinthians 10:1-33; Romans 14:1. It was not a question of bearing with others' infirmities, but one affecting the essence of the Gospel, whether the Gentiles are compelled "to live as do the Jews," in order to be justified (Galatians 2:14).

Barnabas also - `even Barnabas,' one least likely to be so misled, being with Paul in first preaching to the idolatrous Gentiles: showing the power of bad example and numbers. In Antioch, the capital of Gentile Christianity and the center of Christian missions, the controversy arose, and there it now broke out afresh; here Paul had first to encounter the party that afterward persecuted him in every scene of his labours (Acts 15:30-35).


Verse 14

But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Walked not uprightly , [ orthopodousin (Greek #3716)] - 'are not walking with straightforward steps.' Compare Galatians 6:16.

The truth of the Gospel - which teaches that justification by legal observances is inconsistent with redemption by Christ. Paul alone maintained the truth against Judaism, as afterward against paganism (2 Timothy 4:16-17).

Peter - `Cephas' in the oldest manuscripts.

Before them all (1 Timothy 5:20). A public scandal could not be privately remedied.

If thou ... - "If thou," though a Jew (and therefore more bound to the law than the Gentiles), livest (habitually from conviction, Galatians 2:12; Acts 15:10-11) as a Gentile (freely eating of every food, and living as if legal ordinances in no way justify, Galatians 2:12) and not as a Jew, how is it that (so 'Aleph (') A C Delta G f g, Vulgate, read for 'why,' which B reads) thou 'art compelling (by, thine example) the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?'-literally, to Judaize; i:e., to keep Judaic ceremonies. What was formerly obedience to the law is now mere Judaism. Peter's high authority would constrain Gentile Christians to regard Judaizing as necessary to all, since Jewish Christians could not consort with Gentiles, in communion without it. But how can Peter be said to be now 'living as a Gentile?' His doing so was past (Galatians 2:12). Dr. Whately suggests. 'If thou, Jew as thou art, hast life on the same terms as a Gentile, and not by virtue of being a Jew, why dost thou compel the Gentiles to Judaize?' This suggested Peter's own statement immediately after (Acts 15:11).


Verse 15-16

We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Connect these verses, and read, with most of the oldest manuscripts, "But," Galatians 2:16 : 'We (I and thou, Peter) by birth (not by proselytism), Jews, and therefore not sinners (as Jewish language termed the Gentiles) from among the Gentiles, YET' (B C Delta G 'Aleph (') read BUT, which A omits,)

Knowing that ... - even we (resuming the "we" of Galatians 2:15, 'we also,' as well as the Gentile sinners; casting away trust in the law) "have believed," etc.

Not justified by [ ek (G1537), 'from'] the works of the law (required by the law) - as the GROUND (cause: source) of justification.

But by , [ ean (Greek #1437) me (Greek #3165) dia (Greek #1223)] - 'but only (in, no other way except) through faith in Jesus Christ,' as the instrumental MEAN (Hooker) which putteth on Christ to justification. We also - though being by birth Jews, and subject to the law.

Believed in - so as to be joined into [ eis (Greek #1519) Christon (Greek #5547)].

Jesus Christ. In the second case, read with the oldest manuscripts, 'Christ Jesus,' the Messiahship coming into prominence before Jewish believers, as "Jesus" does in the first case, the general proposition.

Justified by the faith of Christ - i:e., by Christ, the object of faith, as the ground of justification.

For [ dioti (G1360): 'because that'] by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified - Greek, 'non-justification is predicated of all flesh' (Ellicott). He rests his argument on this axiom in theology (cf. Psalms 143:2). 'Moses and Jesus Christ; The law and the promise; Doing and believing; Works and faith; Wages and the gift; The curse and the blessing-are diametrically opposed' (Bengel). The moral law is, in respect to justification, more legal than the ceremonial, which was an elementary gospel. So "Sinai" (Galatians 4:24), more famed for the Decalogue than for the ceremonial law, is pro-eminently the type of legal bondage. Thus justification by the law, whether moral or ceremonial, is excluded (Romans 3:20).


Verse 17

But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

But if (in your retrogade theory) - seeking to be justified IN [ en (Greek #1722)] (i:e., in believing union with) Christ (who in the Gospel theory fulfilled the law for us).

We (you and I) ourselves also (as much as the Gentiles) are found (in your and my former communion with Gentiles) sinners (such as, from the Jewish stand-point that now we resume, we should be, since we have cast aside the law, an appointed means of justification, thus having put ourselves in the same category as the Gentiles; the opposite of being justified (Galatians 2:15).

Is therefore Christ the minister of sin? (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:15) - are we to admit the conclusion, in this case inevitable, that Christ having failed to justify us by faith, so has become to us the minister of sin, by putting us in the position of "sinners," as the Judaic theory makes us, along with all others "without the law" (Romans 2:14; 1 Corinthians 9:21); and with whom, by eating with them, we have identified ourselves? The Christian revolts from so shocking a conclusion. The whole sin lies, not with Christ, but with him who necessitates such a blasphemous inference. By his false theory, though 'seeking from Christ,' we have not "found" salvation (in contradiction to Christ's own words, Matthew 7:7), but 'have been ourselves also (after all our seeking, like the Gentiles) found (Romans 7:10) sinners,' by having entered into communion with Gentiles (Galatians 2:12).


Verse 18

For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

Greek, 'For if what things I overthrow (by the faith of Christ), these things I build again (namely, legal righteousness, by subjecting myself to the law), I constitute (literally, I commend) myself a transgressor' (answering to 'we were found sinners'). Instead of commending yourself as you sought (Galatians 2:12, end), you merely commend yourself as a transgressor. The "I" is intended for Peter to take to himself, as it is his case, not Paul's own that is described. A "transgressor" is another word for "sinner" (Galatians 2:17), for "sin is the transgression of the law." You, Peter, by asserting the law to be obligatory, are proving yourself a "sinner" in having set it aside by living as the Gentiles, and with them. Thus you are debarred by transgression from justification by the law, and you debar yourself from justification by Christ, since by your theory He becomes a minister of sin. Ellicott takes it, 'I demonstrate myself a transgressor of the law's deeper principles in reconstructing what I ought from the law itself to perceive is only temporary and preparatory. The Judaizers insisted that whoever keeps not the law is a transgressor; Paul shows, on the contrary, that he who keeps to the law is a transgressor of the, law itself, as intended to lead to faith in Christ.' The "for I," etc. (Galatians 2:19), thus is to confirm this assertion. But the correspondence of "I make myself a transgressor" (Galatians 2:18) to "we are found sinners" (Galatians 2:17), fixes the former explanation; also the absence of "the law" (Galatians 2:18), or of any definite equivalent, is against Ellicott.


Verse 19

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Here Paul seems to pass from his exact words to Peter, to the general purport of his argument. However, his direct address to the Galatians seems not to be resumed until Galatians 3:1, "O foolish Galatians," etc.

For - But I am not a "transgressor" by forsaking the law. "God forbid" such premises as would make "Christ the minister of sin" (Galatians 2:17). "For," etc. Christ, so far from being the minister of sin and death, is righteousness and life in me. I-here emphatic. Paul himself, not Peter, as in the "I," Galatians 2:18, enforcing the argument by his personal experience.

Through the law - my 'school-master to bring me to Christ' (Galatians 3:24): both by its terrors (Galatians 3:13; Romans 3:20) driving me to Christ as the refuge from God's wrath against sin, and, when spiritually understood, teaching that itself is not permanent, but must give place to Christ, whom it prefigures as its end (Romans 10:4); and drawing me to Him by its promises (in the Old Testament prophecies) of a better righteousness, and of God's law written in the heart (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Jeremiah 31:33; Acts 10:43).

Am, dead to the law , [ apethanon (Greek #599)] - 'I died to the law,' and so am dead to it; i:e., passed from under its power in respect to condemnation (Colossians 2:20; Romans 7:1-4; Romans 7:6); just as a woman, once married and bound to a husband, ceases to be so when death interposes, and may be lawfully married to another. So, by believing union to Christ in His death, we, being considered dead with Him, are severed from the law's power over us (cf. Galatians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 7:39; 1 Peter 2:24). Ellicott, somewhat differently, 'I, through the law, owing to sin (elicited by the law, Romans 7:8), was brought under its curse; but having undergone this with, and in the person of, Christ (Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:15), I died to the law (not merely as concerns the law, but as the law required), being both free from its claims, and having satisfied its curse.'

Live unto God (2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Peter 4:1-2).


Verse 20

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I am crucified - literally, 'I have been crucified with Christ.' This particularizes the "I am dead" (Galatians 2:19; Romans 6:3-6; Philippians 3:10).

Nevertheless I live; yet not I , [ Zoo (Greek #2198) de (Greek #1161), ouketi (Greek #3765) egoo (Greek #1473)] - 'nevertheless I live no longer (indeed) I.' Though crucified, I live, (and this) no longer that old man such as I once was (cf. Romans 7:17). No longer Saul the Jew (Galatians 5:24; Colossians 3:11), but "another, man" (cf. 1 Samuel 10:6). Ellicott, etc. translate, 'And it is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.' But the antithesis between "crucified" and "live" requires the, translation, "nevertheless." [ Sunestauroomai (Greek #4953)] 'I am crucified,' answers to [ apethanon (Greek #599)] 'I am dead;' [ zoo (Greek #2198) de (Greek #1161)] "nevertheless I live," to [Theoo zeso] "that I might live unto God:" "I" (the old I) is in contrast to "Christ."

The life which I now live - contrasted with my life before conversion.

In the flesh - my animal life "in the flesh" is not my true life: 'it is but the mask under which lives another-namely, Christ, my true life' (Luther); 'Christ and His Spirit dwelling in them as the soul of their souls' (Hooker).

I live by the faith ... - Greek, 'IN faith (namely), that of, (i:e., which rests on) the, Son of God.' "In faith" answers by contrast to "in the flesh." Faith, not the flesh, is the real element in which I live. The phrase, "the Son of God," reminds us that His divine Sonship is the source of His life-giving power (John 5:26). So A C 'Aleph ('), Vulgate. But B Delta F G, 'the faith of God and Christ.'

Loved me - His eternal gratuitous love is the link that unites me to the Son of God, and His 'giving Himself for me,' is the strongest proof of that love.


Verse 21

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

I do not frustrate the grace of God - I do not make it void, as thou, Peter, art doing by Judaizing. In our I do not frustrate the grace of God - I do not make it void, as thou, Peter, art doing by Judaizing. In our justification three things go together; on God's part, His, grace; on Christ's part, the satisfaction of God's justice; on our part, lively faith in Christ's merits, ('Homily on Salvation, I.')

For - justifying the strong expression "frustrate,"

If righteousness , [ dikaiosunee (Greek #1343)] - justifying and sanctifying (Romans 8:2-3).

Come by [ dia (G1223)] the law. This asserts that the law is not a medium of righteousness; Galatians 3:11, that it is not the sphere [ en (Greek #1722)] of righteousness; Galatians 3:21, that it is not the origin [ ek (Greek #1537)] (Ellicott).

Is dead in vain , [ doorean (Greek #1432)] - 'Christ died needlessly,' 'without just cause.' Christ's having died shows that the law has no power to justify us; for if the law can justify, the death of Christ is superfluous (Chrysostom).

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 2:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/galatians-2.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology