Galatians 2

Hypocrisy of those with good reputation, denying the true gospel
.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 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.
  1 - Fourteen years We do not know if the count began at his conversion or three years later at Jerusalem. The point seems to be that his understanding of the Gospel had not been borrowed from the disciples.
  Again to Jerusalem Likely the visit also recorded in ac15.
  2 - By revelation And by the church.
  2 - Communicated Instead "set forth" or declared.
 3  But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
 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:
.5  To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
 5 "We did not give in to them [the Judaizers] for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you." (NIV)
  3 - Neither Titus ... circumcised Verses 3 to 5 are parenthetical. If Titus, a Gentile, had been circumcised with the authority or consent of Paul, it would have been a denial of the end of the ceremonial system and thus of the sacrifice of Christ to which it pointed. The case of Timothy was different in that he was partly Jewish.
  4 - False brethren Probablly the "Judaizers" of Acts 15:5.
  4 - Our liberty That is, liberty from the man-made rules of the Pharisees. The alternative was bondage particularlly to the rules of circumcision. See ga0513.
  5 - To whom To the Judaizers who wanted Titus to be circumcised.
.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:
 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 toward the Gentiles:)
  6 - Whoever they were Truth was more important than personalities.
  6 - Added nothing to me "The revelation to Paul had been so complete and had been received with such faith and intelligence that even the apostles who had been personally in the company of Jesus could add nothing to his understanding of the gospel." (Teacher's Commentary).
  7 - Gospel of the uncircumcision Of course there is only one gospel ga0108, ga0328. It was the same gospel but presented to the Gentiles.
 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.
 10  Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
  James Probably the brother of Jesus ga0119. The disciple James had been killed ac1201. Cephas was another name for Peter mt1618, mr0316.
  Pillars Church leaders.
  Right hand Recognition as fellow workers.
  Remember the poor The Christians in Jerusalem had physical needs. Remembering would also have helped avoid a division of the church into Jewish and Gentile factions.
.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: 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,
  11 - I withstood him ... he was to be blamed People called of God may exhibit unchristlike behavior. Then we remember that only the Saviour Himself is our model.
  12 - Fearing them The group had stirred up misunderstanding in Antioch ac1505 and some had gone to Corinth 2co1122.
  13 - Dissembled Literally "acted under a mask with." Peter and others had pretended to agree with the Judaizers. Of course this was not right.
.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.
 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.
  16 - Justified Considered righteous. ro0320, ro0328, ro0408.
  16 - Works of the law Should be "works of law." Paul writes in general terms. ro0212. Jews of Paul's time made salvation a product of obedience and added more laws not divinely inspired.
  16 - Faith of Rather, "faith in."
  17 - We Jews.
  17 - Also found sinners In addition to the Gentiles v15.
  18 - Build again As a Jewish Christian.
  18 - Transgressor Denying the power of Christ.
.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 - Crucified with Christ This verse is worth meditation. First, read it carefully to follow Paul's thinking. Then grasp the ideas and make them your own.

Galatians home
Commentary home