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TEXT. 1 Paul, an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ,
and God the Father, who raised him from the dead ;) 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia : 3 Grace be to you, and peace, from God the Father, and from our
Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this
present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father : 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
PARAPHRASE. 1 Paul (an apostle not of mena, to serve their ends, or carry
on their designs, nor receiving his call, or commission, by the intervention of any man", to whom he might be thought to owe any respect or deference upon that account ; but immedi
ately from Jesus Christ, and from God the Father, who raised 2 him
up from the dead); And all the brethren that are with me, 3 unto the churches C of Galatia : Favour be to you,
and 4 from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who
gave himself for our sins, that he might take us out of this pre
sent evil world, according to the will and good pleasure of God 5 and our Father, To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
NOTES. 1 • Oủx ón' bvOpółwy, “not of men,” i. e. not sent by men at their pleasure, or by
their authority; not instructed by men what to say or do, as we see Timothy and Titus were, when sent by St. Paul; and Judas and Silas, sent by the church of Jerusalem. • Ουδε δι' ανθρώπου, nor by man,” i. e. his choice and separation to his ministry and apostleship was so wholly an act of God and Christ, that there was vo intervention of any thing done by any man in the case, as there was in the election of Matthias. All this we may see explained at large, ver. 10-12, and ver. 16,
17, and chap. ii. 6—9. 2 <“ Churches of Galatia.” This was an evident seal of his apostleship to the
Gentiles; since, in no bigger a country than Galatia, a small province of the
lesser Asia, he had, in no long stay among them, planted several distinct churches. 3 “ Peace.” The wishing of peace, in the Scripture-language, is the wishing of
all manner of good. 4 ε"Οπως εξέληίαι ημάς εκ του ενεςώτος αιώνος πονηρού. “That he might take us
out of this present evil word,” or age; so the Greek words signity. Whereby it cannot be thought that St. Paul meant, that Christians were to be immediately removed into the other world. Therefore évesùs aiùy must signity something else than present world, in the ordinary import of those words in English. Aids củTOS, 1 Cor. ii. 6, 8, and in other places, plainly signifies the Jewish nation, under the Mosaical constitution; and it suits very well with the apostle's design in this epistle, that it should do so here. God has, in this world, but one kingdom, and one people. The nation of the Jews were the kingdom and people of God, whilst the law stood. And this kingdom of God, under the Mosaical constitution, was called aiàr oŰtos, this age, or as it is commonly translated, this world, to which aiùs évesùs, the present world, or age, here
NOTE. But the kingdom of God, which was to be under the Messiah, wherein the economy and constitution of the Jewish church, and the nation itself, that, in opposition to Christ, adhered to it, was to be laid aside, is in the New Testament called aiùs peraw, the world, or age to come; so that “ Christ's taking them out of the present world” may, without any violence to the words, be understood to signify his setting them free from the Mosaical constitution. This is suitable to the design of this epistle, and what St. Paul has declared in many other places. See Col. ii. 14–17, and 20, which agrees to this place, and Rom. vii. 4, 6. This law is said to be contrary to us, Col. ii. 14, and to “ work wrath,” Rom. iv. 15, and St. Paul speaks very diminishingly of the ritual parts of it in many places : but yet if all this may not be thought sufficient to justify the applying of the epithet woonpoũ, evil, to it; that scruple will be removed if we take šveçus aids, "'this present world,” here, for the Jewish constitution and nation together; in which sense it may very well be called “evil;" though the apostle, out of his wonted tenderness to his nation, forbears to name them openly, and uses a doubtful expression, which might comprehend the heathen world also; though he chiefly pointed at the Jews.
CHAPTER I. 6.-II. 21.
We have observed, that St. Paul's first endeavour, in this epistle, was to satisfy the Galatians, that the report spread of him, that he preached circumcision, was false. Until this obstruction that lay in his way was removed, it was to no purpose for him to go about to dissuade them from circumcision, though that be what he principally aims, in this epistle. To show them, that he promoted not círcumcision, he calls their hearkening to those who persuaded them to be circumcised, their being removed from him; and those that so persuaded them,“ perverters of the Gospel of Christ,” ver. 6, 7. He farther assures them, that the Gospel which he preached every where was that, and that only, which he had received by immediate revelation from Christ, and no contrivance of man, nor did he vary it to please men: that would not consist with his being a servant of Christ, ver. 10. And he expresses such a firm adherence to what he had received from Christ, and had preached to them, that he pronounces an anathema upon himself, ver. 8, 9, or any other man or angel that should preach any thing else to them. To make out this to have been all along his conduct, he gives an account of himself, for many years backwards, even from the time before his conversion. Wherein he shows, that from a zealous persecuting Jew he was made a Christian, 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 a ". So soon." The first place we find Galatia mentioned, is Acts sri. 6. And
therefore St. Paul may be supposed to have planted these churches there, in his journey mentioned Acts xvi. which was anno Domini 51. He visited them again, after he had been at Jerusalem, Acts xviii. 21–23, A. D. 54. From 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; and therefore he might with reason wonder at their forsaking him so soon, and that Gospel he had converted them to. 1, “ For him that called you.” These words plainly point out bimself; 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, than 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
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,
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 else", but only this, that ye are troubled by a certain
men, who would overturn the Gospel of Christ, by making 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 accursedc. 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. 7 a "O gx @gu ärao 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, 1, If o had referred to ευαγγελιον, it would have been more natural to have kept to the word έτερον, and not have changed it into ärao. 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, that 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 reproved to “another Gospel," nobody else had contributed, but it was wholly owing to those Judaizing seducers.
bo 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 d"Aplı, “ yow," and ito, “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 him, he received his commission and instructions from him alone, and set immediately about it, without consulting any man whatsoever,
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
where b'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, wbich 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 “vow," and "yet," in it, and all tends to the same purpose. * Heltw, translated “ persuade, is sometimes used for making application to any one to obtain his good will, or friendship; and hence, Acts xii. 20, wric avles Braçox is translated “having made Blastus their friend :" the sense is here the same which, 1 Thess. ii. 4, he expresses in these words, sx os arbpúrous apécxorles
á na to tem, “ not as pleasing men, but God." Il Tè svayyedichè ' lui, " 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.