|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:12-14 Though, as a sinner, the apostle could only rejoice and glory in Christ Jesus, yet, as a believer, he might rejoice and glory in being really what he professed. Conscience witnesses concerning the steady course and tenor of the life. Thereby we may judge ourselves, and not by this or by that single act. Our conversation will be well ordered, when we live and act under such a gracious principle in the heart. Having this, we may leave our characters in the Lord's hands, but using proper means to clear them, when the credit of the gospel, or our usefulness, calls for it.
Verse 13. - For we write none other things unto you, etc. Remarks like these obviously presuppose that the conduct and character of St. Paul had been misrepresented and calumniated. The perpetual recurrence to a strain of self-defence would have been needless if some one - probably Titus - had not told St. Paul that his opponents accused him of insincerity. Here, therefore, he tells them that he is opening out his very heart towards them. What he had to say to them and of them was here set forth without any subterfuges or arrieres pensees. He had nothing esoteric which differed from exoteric teaching. It is a melancholy thought that even such a one as Paul was reduced to the sad necessity of defending himself against such charges as that he intrigued with individual members of his Churches, wrote private letters or sent secret messages which differed in tone from those which were read in the public assembly. Or acknowledge; rather, or even fully know; i.e. from other sources. The paronomasia of the original cannot be preserved in English, but in Latin would be "Quae legitis aut etiam inteltigitis." And I trust... even to the end; rather, but I hope that, even unto the end, ye will fully know - even as ye fully knew us in part - that we are your subject of boast. After telling them that they have in this letter his genuine and inmost thoughts, he adds that "even as some of them (for this seem to be implied by the 'in part') already knew well that the mutual relations between him and them were something wherein to glory, he hopes that they will appreciate this fact, even to the end." He knows that some honour him; he hopes that all will do so; but he can only express this as a hope, for he is aware that there are calumnies abroad respecting him, so that he cannot feel sure of their unbroken allegiance. Such seems to be the meaning; but the state of mind in which St. Paul wrote has evidently troubled his style, and his expressions are less lucid and more difficult to unravel in this Epistle than in any other. To the end. The expression is quite general, like our "to the last." He does not seem definitely to imply either to the end of his life or to the coming of Christ, which they regarded as the end of all things, as in 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Hebrews 3:6.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For we write none other things to you,.... The things we write unto you concerning our conduct; and behaviour, are no other
than what you read; not in our letters to you, but in our lives and conversations, when we were among you, and which you must own and acknowledge to be just and right; we can appeal to you, that what we say, and are obliged to say of ourselves, in our own defence, is what, upon a recollection, you will easily remember to have seen and observed:
and I trust; or "hope", through the grace of God, we shall be enabled so to walk, as that
you shall acknowledge even to the end; that our conversations are as become the Gospel of Christ, and are clear of that hypocrisy and deceit our adversaries would insinuate concerning us.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. We write none other things (in this Epistle) than what ye read (in my former Epistle [Bengel]; present, because the Epistle continued still to be read in the Church as an apostolic rule). Conybeare and Howson think Paul had been suspected of writing privately to some individuals in the Church in a different strain from that of his public letters; and translates, "I write nothing else to you but what ye read openly (the Greek meaning, 'ye read aloud,' namely, when Paul's Epistles were publicly read in the congregation, 1Th 5:27); yea, and what you acknowledge inwardly."
or acknowledge—Greek, "or even acknowledge." The Greek for "read" and for "acknowledge" are words kindred in sound and root. I would translate, "None other things than what ye know by reading (by comparing my former Epistle with my present Epistle), or even know as a matter of fact (namely, the consistency of my acts with my words)."
even to the end—of my life. Not excluding reference to the day of the Lord (end of 2Co 1:14; 1Co 4:5).
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