صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

men upon whom the Holy Ghost fell on the memorable day of Pentecost; and of the brethren of the greatest note in that church, chosen by the different bodies of the faithful in Jerusalem who assembled in separate places for the worship of God. Hence these brethren are called, in the preamble to the decree, Acts xv. 22. 25. chosen men ; and ver. 22. Chief men among the brethren. In short, the Council of Jerusalem, consisting of such men, was a more respectable assembly than any council which hath met since, or which will ever meet again. And its decisions are, without doubt, of greater authority than the decisions of those councils, who have called themselves Oecumenical, because composed of members gathered from the greatest part of the Christian world; and Holy, on the feigned pretence that their decisions were dictated by the Holy Ghost.




View and Illustration of the Facts asserted in this Chapter. BECAUSE the false teachers had called Paul an apostle of men, and had said that he was made an apostle by the church at Antioch, or at best by the apostles in Jerusalem, he began his letter with affirming, that he was not an apostle of men ; but an apostle appointed by Jesus Christ himself, and by God the Fa: ther who raised Jesus from the dead, ver. 1.-By mentioning the resurrection of Jesus, St. Paul glanced at the miraculous manner in which he himself was made an apostle by Christ after his resurrection; and of which Luke hath given an account, Acts ix. 3.-9. He alluded to it likewise ver. 5. where he calls it God's revealing his Son to him. So that St. Paul, both in respect of the time and of the manner of his being raised to the apostolic office, instead of being inferior, was superior to the other apostles : Christ came from heaven by the appointment of his father, to qualify him for that office, and to confer it on him.- Next he told the Galatians, that all the brethren who were with him, joined him in this letter ; by which he insinuated that they attested the whole of the facts he was going to relate, ver. 2.-Then expressed his surprise, that the Galatians were so soon removed from his doctrine, to another gospel, ver. 6.-which he told them was no gospel at all, ver. 7.And because the false teachers affirmed, that after conversing with the apostles in Jerusalem, Paul had become sensible of his error, and now enjoined circumcision, chap. v. 11. he twice anathematized every one who preached contrary to what they had heard him preach, though it were himself, or an angel from heaven, who did it, ver. 8, 9.—Then asked his opponents, whether in so speaking he endeavoured to please men or God, ver. 10.-It seems the Judaizers had represented him to the Galatians, as one who suited his doctrine to the inclinations of his hearers : A calumny which they hoped would be believed, as Paul's apostolical character was not then generally known. Besides, the Judaizers were for the most part bad men, and capable of VOL. III.


affirming any falsehood, which they thought would promote their views.

Farther, the apostle's enemies pretended not only that he was an apostle sent forth by men, but that he was taught the gospel by Ananias, or by the brethren at Antioch, or by the apostles at Jerusalem. For he solemnly averred, that he received the gospel from no man, nor body of men whatever, but from Christ himself, ver. 11, 12.-And in proof of that asseveration, he appealed to his manner of life, both before and after his conversion, as a thing well known: That before his conversion he furiously persecuted the church, ver. 13.-And was exceedingly zealous of the traditions of his fathers, ver. 14.-In that period, therefore, of his life, he had neither opportunity nor inclination to learn any thing from the Christians. And being so great a zealot for the law, if he afterwards taught, that no man could be justified by the law, nothing but the strongest evidence had induced him to take up that opinion.—He told them farther, that when it pleased God to make him an apostle, he consulted with no person in Damascus, no Jewish doctor concerning his commission as an apostle, nor any of the brethren concerning the things he was to preach, ver. 15, 16.—Neither did he go to Jerusalem, to receive the gospel from them who were apostles before him; but he went into Arabia, and again returned to Damascus; and there acting as an apostle, he preached the gospel, which he had received by revelation from Christ, in the synagogues, where, as Luke informs us, Acts ix. 22. he confounded the Jews who dwelled at Damascus, proving that Jesus is the

very Christ, ver. 17.–And did not go to Jerusalem till three years after his conversion : And then abode fifteen days with Peter, lest keeping any longer at a distance from the apostles, it might be suspected that he was acting in opposition to them, ver. 18.--On that occasion Paul saw no other of the apostles except James the Lord's brother, ver. 19.-Having related these facts he solemnly appealed to God for the truth of them, because


GREEK Text. CHAP. I. 1 Paul an

1 Παυλος, ασοςολος (ουκ apostle, (not of men, nei- ασανθρωπων, ουδε δι' αν

Ver. 1.-1. An apostle not from men. Perhaps in this Paul glanced at Matthias, who was an apostle sent from a general meeting at Jerusalem, as mentioned Acts i. 26.—Or his meaning may be, that he was not sent forth as an apostle from the brethren of Antioch. See note 3. on this verse.

they effectually established his apostleship, and confuted the calumnies of his enemies. For if it was true, that in his first visit to Jerusalem, after his conversion, he saw none of the apostles but Peter and James, although it had been in their power to have made him an apostle, it is not probable that without the knowledge and consent of the rest, they would confer that office on him, a new convert, of whose sincerity they had not as yet sufficient proof, ver. 20.-After spending fifteen days with Peter, which was too short a space of time for him to be instructed by Peter in the knowledge of the gospel, he went into the countries of Syria and Cilicia, whither he was sent by the brethren, because the Jews in Jerusalem, exceedingly enraged against him for having deserted their party, and gone over to the Christians, sought to kill him, ver. 21.-And from Cilicia, where he abode several years, he went, I suppose, into Galatia. Thus it came to pass, that for a long time after Paul's conversion, he was personally unknown to the churches in Judea; who had heard nothing more concerning him, but that he, who formerly persecuted the Christians, now preached the facts concerning Christ, which he had formerly endeavoured to disprove, ver. 22, 23.-This great change of behaviour in so violent an enemy, occasioned the chu nes to glorify God on account of his conversion, ver. 24.

From these things it is evident, that when Paul went into Cilicia, and from Cilicia into Galatia, he had seen none of the apostles but two; and that he had never been at any general meeting of the apostles, to receive from them, either the office of an apostle, or the doctrine of the gospel. And therefore if he converted the Galatians in some journey which he made into their country from Cilicia, the doctrine which he preached, and the miracles which he wrought, must have been bestowed on him, not by man, but by Jesus Christ, and by God the Father, as he himself hath affirmed.


COMMENTARY. CHAP. I. I Paul an CHAP. I. 1 Paul an apostle not apostle, not (aw') from sent forth from any society of men, men 1 neither (di) by neither appointed by any particular

2. Neither by man. Here Paul seems to have had Peter and James in his eye, whom alone he saw at his first coming to Jerusalem after his conversion, and denies that he was appointed an apostle by them.

3. But by Jesus Christ. Paul was first made an apostle by Christ, when he appeared to him in the way to Damascus, Acts ix. 15. And three years

ther by man, but by Jesus θρωσου, αλλα δια Ιησου ΧριChrist, and God the Fa- σου, και Θεου πατρος του ther, who raised him from

έγειραντος αυτον εκ νεκρων) the dead) 2 And all the brethren

2 Και οι συν εμοι παντες which are with me, unto αδελφοι, ταις εκκλησιαις της the churches of Galatia :

Γαλατιας 3 Grace be to you,

and 3 Χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη peace from God the Fa- ασο Θεου πατρος, και

Κυther, and from our Lord

ριου ημων Ιησου Χριςου, Jesus Christ,

4 Who gave himself 4 Του δοντος εαυτον τσερ for our sins, that he might των αμαρτιων ημων, όπως εξεdeliver us from this pre- ληται ημας εκ του ενεςωτος sent evil world, according

αιωνος πονηρου, κατα το θεto the will of God and our

λημα του Θεού και πατρος Father: :

ημων" 5 To whom be glory

5 Ώ η δοξα εις τους αιfor ever and ever. Amen.

ωνας των αιώνων αμην. 6 I marvel, that ye are 6 Θαυμαζω, ότι έτω ταs0 soon removed from him χεως μετατιθεσθε ασο του καthat called you into the λεσαντος υμας εν χαριτι Χριgrace of Christ, unto ano

σου, εις έτερον ευαγγελιον ther gospel: :

after that, his apostolic commission was renewed, Acts xxii. 21. So that he was sent forth, neither by the church at Jerusalem, nor by that at Antioch. The Holy Ghost indeed ordered the prophets at Antioch, (Acts xiii. 2.) to separate Paul and Barnabas : but it was to the work whereunto he had called them formerly. This separation was simply a recommending them to the grace of God by prayer. And in fact it is so termed Acts xiv. 26.

Ver. 2.-1. All the brethren who are with me. The brethren here mentioned were the brethren of Antioch, especially those who were the apostle's fellow labourers in the gospel. So the word brethren is used Philip iv. 21, 22. where the brethren are distinguished from the saints or laity. See the Pref. sect. 2. No. 2.

2. To the churches of Galatia. Here it is remarkable, that the churches of Galatia are not, as the other churches to which Paul wrote, designed the churches of God, or of Christ, perhaps to signify that they did not deserve these honourable appellations, on account of their great defection from the truth of the gospel.

Ver. 4.-1. Evil age. Awr wovup. In scripture the age or world is often put for the men of the world, and for their evil principles and practices. Thus Rom. xii. 2. Be not conformed, alwi T8To, to this age. See also Tit .ü. 2.--Locke is of opinion that aww, world or age, here signifies the

« السابقةمتابعة »