Page images
PDF
EPUB

shows, that from a zealous persecuting Jew he was made a Ch ristian, and an apostle, by immediate revelation; and that, having no communication with the apostles, or with the churches of Judea, or any man, for some years, he had nothing to preach, but what he had received by immediate revelation. Nay, when, fourteen years after, he went up to Jerusalem, it was by revelation; and when he there communicated the Gospel, which he preached among the Gentiles, Peter, James, and John, approved of it, without adding any thing, but admitted him as their fellow-apostle. So that, in all this, he was guided by nothing but divine revelation, which he inflexibly stuck to so far, that he openly opposed St. Peter for his Judaizing at Antioch. All which account of himself tends clearly to show, that St. Paul made not the least step towards complying with the Jews, in favour of the law, nor did, out of regard to man, deviate from the doctrine he had received by revelation from God.

All the parts of this section, and the narrative contained in it, manifestly concenter in this, as will more fully appear, as we go through them, and take a closer view of them; which will show us, that the whole is so skilfully managed, and the parts so gently slid into, that it is a strong, but not seemingly laboured justification of himself, from the imputation of preaching up circumcision.

TEXT. 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him, that called you into

the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel:

PARAPHRASE. - 6 I cannot but wonder that you are so soon a removed from

me \, (who called you into the covenant of grace, which is

NOTES. 6 25So soon." The first place we find Galatia mentioned, is Acts xvi. 6. And

therefore St. Paul may be supposed to have planted these churches there, in his journey mentioned Acts xvi. which was anno Domini bl. He visited them again, after he had been at Jerusalem, Acts xviii. 21-23, A. D. 54. Froin thence he returned to Ephesus, and staid there about two years, during which time this epistle was writ; so that, counting from his last visit, this letter was writ to them within two or three years from the time he was last with them, and had left them confirmed in the doctrine he had taught them ; aud therefore he might with reason wonder at their forsaking him so soon, and that Gospel he had converted them to. b“ For him that called you." These words plainly point out himself; but then one might wonder how St. Paul came to use them ; since it would have sounded better to have said, “Removed from the Gospel I preached to you, to another Gospel, thap removed from me that preached to you, to another Gospel." But if it be remembered, that St. Paul's design here, is to vindicate bimself from the aspersion cast on him, that he preached circumcision, nothing could be more suitable to that purpose than this way of expressing himself.

TEXT. 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would

pervert the Gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto

you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other

Gospel unto you, than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men ?

For, if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

PARAPHRASE. 7 in Christ) unto another sort of Gospel; Which is not owing to

any thing elsea, but only this, that ye are troubled by a certain sort of men, who would overturn the Gospel of Christ, by mak

ing circumcision, and the keeping of the law, necessary under 8 the Gospel. But if even I myself, or an angel from heaven,

should preach any thing to you for gospel, different from the 9 Gospel I have preached unto you, let him be accursed. I say it

again to you, if any one, under pretence of the Gospel, preach

any other thing to you, than what ye have received from me, 10 let him be accursed. For can it be doubted of me, after

having done and suffered so much for the Gospel of Christ, whether I do nowd, at this time of day, make my court to

NOTES. 72"Oʻx içiv ärio I take to signify “ which is not any thing else." The words

themselves, the context, and the business the apostle is upon here, do all concur to give these words the sense I have taken them in. For, I, If 8 had referred to ευαγγελιον, it would have been more natural to have kept to the word έτερον, and not have changed it into ära. 2. It can scarce be supposed, by any one who reads what St. Paul says, in the following words of this verse, and the two adjoining; and also chap. iii. 4, and ver. 2–4, and 7, tbat St. Paul should tell them, that what he would keep them from, “is not another Gospel.” 3. It is suitable to St. Paul's design here, to tell them, that to their being removed to “ another Gospel," nobody else had contributed, but it was wholly owing to those Judaizing seducers.

b See Acts xv. 1, 5, 23, 24. 9 €“ Accursed." Though we may look upon the repetition of the anathema here,

to be for the adding of force to what he says, yet we may observe, that by joining himself with an angel, in the foregoing verse, he does as good as tell them, that he is not guilty of what deserves it, by skilfully insinuating to the Galatians, that they might as well suspect an angel might preach to them a Gospel different from his, i. e. a false Gospel, as that he himself should : and then, in this verse, lays

the anathema, wholly and solely, upon the Judaizing seducers. 10 "Aplo, “ now," and Ti, “yet," cannot be understood without a reference to

something in St. Paul's past life; what that was, which he had particularly then in his mind, we may see by the account he gives of himself, in what immediately follows, viz. that before his conversion he was employed by men, in their designs, and made it his business to please them, as may be seen, Acts ix. 1, 2. But when God called bim, he received his commission and instructions from him alone, and set immediately about it, without consulting any map whatsoever,

VOL. VIII.

[ocr errors]

TEXT 11 But I certify to you, brethren, that the Gospel, which was preached

of me, is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the

revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' re

ligion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God,

and wasted it : 14 And profited in the Jews religion above many my equals in mine

own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

PARAPHRASE.

men, or seek the favour of God? If I had hitherto made it

my business to please men, I should not have been the servant 11 of Christ, nor taken up the profession of the Gospel. But I

certify you, brethren, that the Gospel, which has been every

whereb preached by me, is not such as is pliant to human in12 terest, or can be accommodated to the pleasing of men (For I

neither received it from man, nor was I taught it by any one,

as his scholar); but it is the pure and unmixed, immediate 13 revelation of Jesus Christ to me. To satisfy you of this, my

behaviour, whilst I was of the Jewish religion, is so well known, that I need not tell you how excessive violent I was in per

secuting the church of God, and destroying it all I could ; 14 And that being carried on by an extraordinary zeal for the

traditions of my forefathers, I out-stripped many students of

NOTES. preaching that, and that only, which he had received from Christ. So that it would be senseless folly in him, and no less than the forsaking his Master, Jesus Christ, if he should now, as was reported of him, mix any thing of men's with the pure doctrine of the Gospel, which he had received immediately by revelation from Jesus Christ, to please the Jews, after he had so long preached only that ; and had, to avoid all appearance or pretence to the contrary, so carefully shunned all communication with the churches of Judea ; and had not, until a good while after, and that very sparingly, conversed with any, and those but a few, of the apostles themselves, some of whom he openly reproved for their Judaizing. Thus the narrative, subjoined to this verse, explains the “now," and “yet," in it, and all tends to the same purpose. * [lelow, translated “persuade,” is sometimes used for making application to any one to obtain his good will, or friendship; and hence, Acts xii. 20, wrioarle's Balçov is translated “having made Blastus their friend :" the sense is here the same which, 1 Thess. ii. 4, he expresses in these words, rx wg áv@púnors dipé cxoyles

&and to , “not as pleasing men, but God." 11 Tò sayyodrobèy ür' duši, “ which has been preached by me:" this, being spoken

indefinitely, must be understood in general, every where, and so is the import of the foregoing verse.

TEXT. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's

womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen,

immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood : 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem, to them which were apostles before

me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and

abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie

not. 21. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia:

PARAPHRASE. 15 my own age and nation, in Judaism. But when it pleased

Göd (who separated me from my mother's womb, and by his

especial favour called me to be a Christian, and a preacher of 16 the Gospel). To reveal his Son to me, that I might preach

him among the Gentiles, I thereupon applied not myself to any 17 man', for advice what to dod. Neither went I up to Jeru

salem to those who were apostles before me, to see whether they approved my doctrine, or to have farther instructions

from them : but I went immediatelye unto Arabia, and from 18 thence returned again to Damascus.' Then after three years',

I went up to Jerusalem, to see Peter, and abode with him 19 fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, but James, 20 the brother of our Lord. These things, that I write to you,

I call God to witness, are all true; there is no falsehood in 21 them. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and CiTEXT. 22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea, which were

NOTES. 15 * “ Separated." This may be understood by Jer. i. 5.

b« Called." The history of this call, see Acts ix. 1, &c. 16 c " Flesh and blood," is used for man, see Eph. vi. 12.

d« For advice :" this, and what he says in the following verse, is to evidence to the Galatians the full assurance he bad of the truth and perfection of the Gospel, which he had received from Christ, by inmediate revelation; and how little he was disposed to have any regard to the pleasing of men in preaching it, that he did not so inuch as communicate, or advise, with any of the apostles about it,

to see whether they approved of it. 17 • Eudéws, immediately, though placed just before x and apocayedénny, “I conferred

not ;" yet it is plain, by the sense and design of St. Paul here, that it principally relates to, “I went into Arabia ;" his departure iuto Arabia, presently upon his conversion, before he had consulted with any body, being made use of, to show that the Gospel he had received by immediate revelation from Jesus Christ was complete, and sufficiently instructed and enabled him to be a preacher and an apostle to the Gentiles, without borrowing any thing from any man, in order thereunto; no not with any of the apostles, no one of whom he saw, until three

years after. 18 " Three years," i. e. from his conversion.

in Christ. 23 But they had heard only, that he, which persecuted us in times

past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24 And they glorified God in me.

PARAPHRASE. 22 licia. But with the churches of Christ in Judea, I had had

no communication : they had not so much as seen my face"; 23 Only they had heard, that I, who formerly persecuted the

churches of Christ, did now preach the Gospel, which I once 24 endeavoured to suppress and extirpate. And they glorified

God upon my account.

NOTES. 22 8“ In Christ," i. e. believing in Christ, see Rom. xvi. 7.

h This, which he so particularly takes notice of, does nothing to the proving that he ,was a true apostle; but serves very well to show, that, in what he preached, he had no communication with those of his own nation, nor took any care to please the Jews.

CHAPTER II.

TEST. 1 Then fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem, with

Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that Go

spel, 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.

PARAPHRASE. 1 Then fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem, 2 with Barnabas, and took Titus also with me. And I went

up by revelation, and there laid before them the Gospel which la preached to the Gentiles, but privately, to those who were

I

NOTES. “I communicated." The conference he had in private with the chief of the church of Jerusalem, concerning the Gospel which he preached among the Gen. tiles, seems not to have been barely concerning the doctrine of their being free from the law of Moses, that had been openly and hotly disputed at Antioch, and was known to be the business they came about to Jerusalem ; but it is probable,

« PreviousContinue »