|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-11 The word resurrection, usually points out our existence beyond the grave. Of the apostle's doctrine not a trace can be found in all the teaching of philosophers. The doctrine of Christ's death and resurrection, is the foundation of Christianity. Remove this, and all our hopes for eternity sink at once. And it is by holding this truth firm, that Christians stand in the day of trial, and are kept faithful to God. We believe in vain, unless we keep in the faith of the gospel. This truth is confirmed by Old Testament prophecies; and many saw Christ after he was risen. This apostle was highly favoured, but he always had a low opinion of himself, and expressed it. When sinners are, by Divine grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful. He ascribes to Divine grace all that was valuable in him. True believers, though not ignorant of what the Lord has done for, in, and by them, yet when they look at their whole conduct and their obligations, they are led to feel that none are so worthless as they are. All true Christians believe that Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and then risen from the dead, is the sun and substance of Christianity. All the apostles agreed in this testimony; by this faith they lived, and in this faith they died.
Verse 5. - Was seen of Cephas (Luke 24:34). The appearances to the women (John 20:14, etc.) are omitted, as being evidential rather to the apostles than to the world. The twelve (John 20:19, 26). Some officious scribes have in some manuscripts altered the word into" the eleven." But "the twelve" is here the designation of an office, and great ancient writers are always indifferent to mere pragmatic accuracy in trifles which involve nothing. To witness to the Resurrection was a main function of "the twelve" (Acts 2:23; Acts 3:15; Acts 10:40, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And that he was seen of Cephas,.... Or Simon Peter; for Cephas was a name given him by Christ, John 1:42. This was not another Cephas, one of the seventy disciples, as Clemens suggests (g), but the Apostle Peter himself, to whom it is certain the Lord appeared. Not that he was the first person by whom Christ was seen after his resurrection, for he first appeared to Mary Magdalene, Mark 16:9 but the testimony of the women the apostle omits, and it seems as if Peter was the first of the men that saw Christ when risen, see Luke 24:34. Whether he was one of the disciples that went to Emmaus, to whom Christ joined himself, and entered into discourse with, is not certain; it should rather seem, that the appearance here referred to was when he was alone;
then of the twelve; though there were then but eleven of them, Judas being gone from them, and having destroyed himself; and at the first appearance of Christ to them, there were but ten present, Thomas being absent; and yet because their original number, when first chosen and called, were twelve, they still went by the same name; see John 20:24. The appearance or appearances here referred to are those in John 20:19. The Vulgate Latin reads the "eleven"; and so the Claromontane exemplar.
(g) Apud Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 1. c. 12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. seen of Cephas—Peter (Lu 24:34).
the twelve—The round number for "the Eleven" (Lu 24:33, 36). "The Twelve" was their ordinary appellation, even when their number was not full. However, very possibly Matthias was present (Ac 1:22, 23). Some of the oldest manuscripts and versions read, "the Eleven": but the best on the whole, "the Twelve."
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