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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;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter, to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me, towards the Gentiles :) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, per
7 But on the contrary, James, Peter, and John, who were of reputation, and justly esteemed to be pillars, perceiving that the Gospel, which was to be preached to the Gentiles, was committed to me; as that which was to be preached to the Jews, was com8 mitted to Peter; (For he that had wrought powerfullyb in Peter, to his executing the office of an apostle to the Jews, had also wrought powerfully in me, in my application and apostle9 ship, to the Gentiles :) And, knowing the favour that was be
where, in his preaching, receded from that doctrine of freedom from the law, which he had preached to them, and was satisfied it was the truth, even before he had conferred with these apostles. The bare supplying of of, in the beginning of the verse, takes away the necessity of any such addition. Examples of the like ellipsis we have, Matt. xxvii. 9, where we read and viv, for oí áæò ú☎v; and John xvi. 17, ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν, for οἱ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν ; and so here, taking ἀπὸ τῶν Soxoúvlwy, to be for oi àñò tŵv doxolwr, all the difficulty is removed; and St. Paul having, in the foregoing verse, ended the narrative of his deportment towards the false brethren, he here begins an account of what passed between him and the chief of the apostles.
7 a Peter, James, and John, who, it is manifest, by ver. 9, are the persons here spoken of, seem, of all the apostles, to have been most in esteem and favour with their Master, during his conversation with them on earth. See Mark v. 37, and ix. 2, and xiv. 33. "But yet that, says St. Paul, is of no moment now to me. The Gospel, which I preach, and which God, who is no respecter of persons, has been pleased to commit to me by immediate revelation, is not the less true, nor is there any reason for me to recede from it, in a tittle; for these men of the first rank could find nothing to add, alter, or gainsay in it." This is suitable to St. Paul's design here, to let the Galatians see, that as he, in his carriage, had never favoured circumcision; so neither had he any reason, by preaching circumcision, to forsake the doctrine of liberty from the law, which he had preached to them as a part of that Gospel, which he had received by revelation. 8 b Eveрyhoas, "working in," may be understood here to signify, both the operation of the Spirit upon the mind of St. Peter and St. Paul, in sending them, the one to the Jews, the other to the Gentiles: and also the Holy Ghost bestowed on them, whereby they were enabled to do miracles for the confirmation of their doctrine. In neither of which St. Paul, as he shows, was inferior, and so had as authentic a seal of his mission and doctrine.
9 © Kai, “and,” copulates yvóvleç, “knowing,” in this verse, with ¿dó›les, “ seeing,” ver. 7, and makes both of them to agree with the nominative case to the verb ïdwxav, “gave,” which is no other but James, Cephas, and John, and so justifies my transferring those names to ver. 7, for the more easy construction and under
ceived 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.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For, before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles:
stowed on me, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, and 10 they to the children of Israel. All that they proposed, was, that we should remember to make collections among the Gentiles, for the poor Christians of Judea, which was a thing that of 11 myself I was forward to do. But when Peter came to Antioch,
I openly opposed him to his face for, indeed, he was to be 12 blamed. For he conversed there familiarly with the Gentiles, and eat with them, until some Jews came thither from James:
standing of the text, though St. Paul defers the naming of them, until he is, as it were against his will, forced to it, before the end of his discourse.
The giving" the right hand," was a symbol amongst the Jews, as well as other nations, of accord, admitting men into fellowship.
11 "I opposed him." From this opposition to St. Peter, which they suppose to be before the council at Jerusalem, some would have it, that this epistle to the Galatians was writ before that council; as if what was done before the council, could not be mentioned in a letter writ after the council. They also contend, that this journey, mentioned here by St. Paul, was not that wherein he and Barnabas went up to that council to Jerusalem, but that mentioned Acts xi. 30, but this with as little ground as the former. The strongest reason they bring is, that if this journey had been to the council, and this letter after that council, St. Paul would not certainly have omitted to have mentioned to the Galatians that decree. To which I answer, 1. The mention of it was superfluous; for they had it already, see Acts xvi. 4. 2. The mention of it was impertinent to the design of St. Paul's narrative here. For it is plain, that his aim, in what he relates here of himself, and his past actions, is to show, that having received the Gospel from Christ, by immediate revelation, he had all along preached that, and nothing but that, everywhere; so that he could not be supposed to have preached circumcision, or by his carriage to have shown any subjection to the law; all the whole narrative following being to make good what he says, ch. i. 11, "That the Gospel which he preached, was not accommodated to the humouring of men; nor did he seek to please the Jews (who were the men here meant) in what he taught." Taking this to be his aim, we shall find the whole account he gives of himself, from that ver. 11 of ch. i. to the end of this second, to be very clear and easy, and very proper to invalidate the report of his preaching circumcision.
but, when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
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? 15 We, who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 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.
then he withdrew, and separated from the Gentiles, for fear 13 of those who were of the circumcision: And the rest of the
Jews joined also with him in this hypocrisy, insomuch that Barnabas himself was carried away with the stream, and 14 dissembled as they did. But when I saw they conformed not their conduct to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all: If thou, being a Jew, takest the liberty sometimes to live after the manner of the Gentiles, not keeping to those rules which the Jews observe, why dost thou constrain the Gentiles to conform themselves to the rites and manner 15 of living of the Jews? We, who are by nature Jews, born under the instruction and guidance of the law, God's peculiar people, and not of the unclean and profligate race of the 16 Gentiles, abandoned to sin and death, Knowing that a man cannot be justified by the deeds of the law, but solely by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have put ourselves upon believing on him, and embraced the profession of the Gospel, for the attainment of justification by faith in Christ, and not by the works 17 of the law: But if we seek to be justified in Christ, even we
14 a Aλýbeia Toũ evayyɛλíoυ, “the truth of the Gospel," is put here for that freedom from the law of Moses, which was a part of the true doctrine of the Gospel. For it was in nothing else, but their undue and timorous observing some of the Mosaical rites, that St. Paul here blames St. Peter, and the other Judaizing converts at Antioch. In this sense he uses the word "truth," all along through this epistle, as ch. ii. 5, 14, and iii. 1, and v. 7, insisting on it, that this doctrine of freedom from the law, was the true Gospel.
15 b Qúcer 'loudało, "Jews by nature." What the Jews thought of themselves in contradistinction to the Gentiles, see Rom. ii. 17, 23.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
ourselves also are found unjustified sinners (for such are all those who are under the law, which admits of no remission nor justification :) is Christ, therefore, the minister of sin? Is the dispensation by him, a dispensation of sin, and not of righteousness? Did he come into the world, that those who believe in him should still remain sinners, i. e. under the guilt of their sins, without the benefit of justification? By no means. 18 And yet certain it is, if I, who quitted the law, to put myself under the Gospel, put myself again under the law, I make myself a transgressor; I re-assume again the guilt of all my transgressions; which, by the terms of that covenant of works, 19 I cannot be justified from. For by the tenour of the law itself, I, by faith in Christ, am discharged from the law, that I might be appropriated to God, and live acceptably to him in his kingdom, which he has now set up under his Son.
17 "Sinners." Those who are under the law, having once transgressed, remain always sinners, unalterably so, in the eye of the law, which excludes all from justification. The apostle, in this place, argues thus: "We Jews, who are by birth God's holy people, and not as the profligate Gentiles, abandoned to all manner of pollution and uncleanness, not being nevertheless able to attain righteousness by the deeds of the law, have believed in Christ, that we might be justified by faith in him. But if even we, who have betaken ourselves to Christ for justification, are ourselves found to be unjustified sinners, liable still to wrath, as also under the law, to which we subject ourselves; what deliverance have we from sin by Christ? None at all: we are as much concluded under sin and guilt, as if we did not believe in him. So that by joining him and the law together for justification, we shut ourselves out from justification, which cannot be had under the law, and make Christ the minister of sin, and not of justification, which God forbid."
18 Whether this be a part of what St. Paul said to St. Peter, or whether it be addressed to the Galatians, St. Paul, by speaking in his own name, plainly declares, that if he sets up the law again, he must necessarily be au offender; whereby he strongly insinuates to the Galatians, that he was no promoter of circumcision, especially when what he says, chap. v. 2-4, is added to it. 19" By the tenour of the law itself." See Rom. iii. 21. Gal. iii. 24, 25, and iv. 21, &c.
4 Being discharged from the law, St. Paul expresses by "dead to the law;" compare Rom. vi. 14, with vii. 4.
"Live to God." What St. Paul says here, seems to imply, that living under the law, was to live not acceptably to God; a strange doctrine certainly to the Jews, and yet it was true now, under the Gospel; for God having put his kingdom in this world wholly under his Son, when he raised him from the dead, all who,
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. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
20 I, a member of Christ's body, am crucified with him; but though I am thereby dead to the law, I nevertheless live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, i. e. the life which I now live in the flesh, is upon no other principle, nor under any other law, but that of faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and 21 gave himself for me. And in so doing, I avoid frustrating the grace of God, I accept of the grace and forgiveness of God, as it is offered through faith in Christ, in the Gospel: but if I subject myself to the law as still in force under the Gospel, I do in effect frustrate grace. For if righteousness be to be had by the law, then Christ died to no purpose: there was no need of itd.
after that, would be his people in his kingdom, were to live by no other law, but the Gospel, which was now the law of his kingdom. And hence we see God cast off the Jews; because, sticking to their old constitution, they would not have this man reign over them: so that what St. Paul says here, is in effect this: “By believing in Christ, I am discharged from the Mosaical law, that I may wholly conform myself to the rule of the Gospel, which is now the law, which must be owned and observed by all those, who, as God's people, will live acceptably to him." This, I think, is visibly his meaning, though the accustoming himself to antitheses, may possibly be the reason why, after having said, "I am dead to the law," he expresses his putting himself under the Gospel, by living to God.
20 "Crucified with Christ;" see this explained, Rom. vii. 4, and vi. 2—14. bi. e. The whole management of myself is conformable to the doctrine of the Gospel, of justification in Christ alone, and not by the deeds of the law. This, and the former verse, seem to be spoken in opposition to St. Peter's owning a subjection to the law of Moses, by his walking, mentioned, ver. 14.
21 "Grace of God;" see chap. i. 6, 7, to which this seems here opposed. d❝ In vain ;" read this explained in St. Paul's own words, chap. v. 3—6.