Galatians 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul, an apostle--sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--

New Living Translation
This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.

English Standard Version
Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—

New American Standard Bible
Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),

King James Bible
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Paul, an apostle--not from men or by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead--

International Standard Version
From: Paul—an apostle not sent from men or by a man, but by Jesus the Messiah, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—

NET Bible
From Paul, an apostle (not from men, nor by human agency, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead)

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Paulus an Apostle, not by the children of men, neither by a son of man, but by Yeshua The Messiah and God his Father, he who raised him from among the dead,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
From Paul-an apostle [chosen] not by any group or individual but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who brought him back to life-

Jubilee Bible 2000
Paul, apostle (not from men neither through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead)

King James 2000 Bible
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

American King James Version
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

American Standard Version
Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),

Douay-Rheims Bible
Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead,

Darby Bible Translation
Paul, apostle, not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God [the] Father who raised him from among [the] dead,

English Revised Version
Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),

Webster's Bible Translation
Paul, an apostle, (not from men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

Weymouth New Testament
Paul, an Apostle sent not from men nor by any man, but by Jesus Christ and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from among the dead--

World English Bible
Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),

Young's Literal Translation
Paul, an apostle -- not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who did raise him out of the dead --
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-5 St. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ; he was expressly appointed by him, consequently by God the Father, who is one with him in respect of his Divine nature, and who appointed Christ as Mediator. Grace, includes God's good-will towards us, and his good work upon us; and peace, all that inward comfort, or outward prosperity, which is really needful for us. They come from God the Father, as the Fountain, through Jesus Christ. But observe, first grace, and then peace; there can be no true peace without grace. Christ gave himself for our sins, to make atonement for us: this the justice of God required, and to this he freely submitted. Here is to be observed the infinite greatness of the price bestowed, and then it will appear plainly, that the power of sin is so great, that it could by no means be put away except the Son of God be given for it. He that considers these things well, understands that sin is a thing the most horrible that can be expressed; which ought to move us, and make us afraid indeed. Especially mark well the words, for our sins. For here our weak nature starts back, and would first be made worthy by her own works. It would bring him that is whole, and not him that has need of a physician. Not only to redeem us from the wrath of God, and the curse of the law; but also to recover us from wicked practices and customs, to which we are naturally enslaved. But it is in vain for those who are not delivered from this present evil world by the sanctification of the Spirit, to expect that they are freed from its condemnation by the blood of Jesus.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Paul, an apostle (Παῦλος ἀπόστολος); Paul, apostle. The designation of "apostle," as here appropriated by St. Paul in explanation of his right to authoritatively address those he was writing to, points to a function with which he was permanently invested, and which placed him in a relation to these Galatian Churches which no other apostle ever occupied. Some years later, indeed, when St. Peter had occasion to address these same Churches, together with others in neighbouring countries, he likewise felt himself authorized to do it on the score of his apostolical character ("Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ," 1 Peter 1:1); but there is nothing to show that St. Peter had any personal relations with them at present. Under these circumstances, it is perhaps best in translation to prefix no article at all before "apostle." This designation of himself as "apostle' St. Paul subjoined to his name in almost all of his Epistles subsequent to the two addressed to the Thessalonians. The only exceptions are those to the Philippians and to Philemon, in writing to whom there was less occasion for introducing it. He had now, in the third of his three great journeys recorded in the Acts, assumed openly in the Church the position of an apostle in the highest sense. In several of these Epistles (1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1), to the designation of apostle, St. Paul adds the words," through (διὰ) the will of God;" i.e. by means of an express volition of God explicitly revealed. In what way God had revealed this to be his will is clearly intimated in this letter to the Galatians, in which the words," through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead," which take the place of the formula, "through the will of God," found elsewhere, indicate that it was through Jesus Christ raised from the dead that this particular volition of God was declared and brought to eft;set. The formula referred to, "through the will of God," was apparently introduced with the view of confronting those who were disposed to question his right to claim this supreme form of apostleship, with the aegis of Divine authorization: they had God to reckon with. The like is the purport of the substituted words in 1 Timothy 1:1, "According to the commandment of God our Saviour, and Christ Jesus our Hope." Not of men, neither by man (οὐκ ἀπ ἀνθρώπων οὐδὲ δι ἀνθρώπου); not from men, neither through a man. The preposition "from" (ἀπὸ) points to the primary fountain of the delegation referred to; "through" (διὰ) to the medium through which it was conveyed. The necessity for this twofold negation arose from the fact that the word "apostle," as I have had occasion fully to set forth elsewhere, was frequently among Christians applied to messengers deputed by Churches, or, probably, even by some important representative officer in the Church, whether on a mission for the propagation of the gospel or for the discharge at some distant place of matters of business connected with the Christian cause. St. Paul had himself frequently served in this lower form of apostleship, both as commissioned by the Church to carry abroad tim message of the gospel, and also as deputed to go to and fro between Churches on errands of charity or for the settlement of controversies. In either case he as well as others acting in the like capacity, would very naturally and properly be spoken of as an "apostle" by others, as we actually find him to have been; as also he would appear to have been ready on this same account so to designate himself, That he was an "apostle" in this sense none probably would have been minded to dispute. Why should they? His having, even repeatedly, held this kind of subordinate commission did not of itself give him a greater importance than attached to many ethers who had held the same. Neither did it invest his statements of religious truth with a higher sanction than theirs. This last was the point which, in St. Paul's own estimation, gave the question of the real nature of his apostleship its whole significance. Was he a commissioned envoy of men, deputed to convey to others a message of theirs? or was he an envoy commissioned immediately by Christ to convey to the world a message which likewise was received immediately from Christ? Those who disputed his statements of religious doctrine might admit that he had been deputed to preach the gospel by Christian Churches or by eminently representative leaders of the Church, while they nevertheless asserted that he had misrepresented, or perhaps misapprehended, the message entrusted to him. At all events, they would be at liberty to affirm that the statements he made in delivering his message were subject to an appeal on the part of his hearers to the human authorities who had delegated him. If he owed alike his commission and his message to (say) the Church of Antioch, or to the Church at Jerusalem, or to the twelve, or to James the Lord's brother, or to other leaders whomsoever of the venerable mother Church, then it followed that he was to be held amenable to their overruling judgment in the discharge of this apostleship of his. What he taught had no force if this higher court of appeal withheld its sanction. Now, this touched no mere problematical contingency, but was a practical issue which, just at this time, was one of even vital importance. It had an intimate connection with the fierce antagonism of contending parties in the Church, then waged over the dying body of the Levitical Law. St. Paul's mission as an apostle is most reasonably considered to (late from the time when, as he stated in his defence before King Agrippa (Acts 26:16, 17), the Lord Jesus said to him, "To this end have I appeared unto time, to appoint thee a minister and a witness [ὑπηρέτην καὶ μάρτυρα: comp. αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται, Luke 1:2 and Acts 1:2, 3, 8, 22] both of the things wherein thou hast seen me, and of the things wherein I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people [λαοῦ, so. Israel], and from the Gentiles, unto whom I myself send thee [εἰς οὕς ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω σε: thus L. T. Tr. Rev.; the Textus Receptus reads εἰς ου{ς νῦν σε ἀποστέλλω]" (comp. Acts 22:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 9:1). But though his appointment was in reality coeval with his conversion, it was only in course of time and by slow degrees that his properly apostolic function became signalized to the consciousness of the Church. Nevertheless, there is no reason for doubting that to his own consciousness his vocation as apostle was clearly manifested from the very first. The prompt and independent manner in which he at once set himself to preach the gospel, which itself, he tells the Galatians in this chapter, he had received immediately from heaven, betokens his having this consciousness. The time and the manner in which the fact was to become manifest to others he would seem, in a spirit of compliant obedience, to have left to the ordering of his Master. But by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead (ἀλλὰ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ Θεοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν); but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. The conjunction "neither" (οὐδὲ), which comes before δι ἀνθρώπου, marks the clause it introduces as containing a distinctly different negation from the preceding, and shows that the preposition "through" is used in contradistinction to the "from" (ἀπὸ) of the foregoing clause in its proper sense of denoting the instrument or medium through which an act is done. St. Paul affirms that there was no human instrumentality or intermediation whatever at work in the act of delegation which constituted him an apostle. This affirmation places him in this respect precisely on a level with the twelve; perhaps in making it he has an eye 1o this. The notion has been frequently broached that the apostleship which St. Paul made claim to was conveyed to him at Antioch through the brethren who there, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, formally set him apart, together with Barnabas, for the missionary enterprise which they forthwith entered upon (Acts 13:1-3). But words could scarcely have been selected which should more decisively negative any such notion than those do which St. Paul here makes use cf. One form of apostleship was no doubt then conferred upon Barnabas and Paul; but it was not the apostleship of which he is now thinking (see essay on "Apostles," pp. 31, 32.). In defining the precise import and bearing of the expression, δι ἀνθρώπου, "through a man," we may compare it with its use in 1 Corinthians 15:21, "Since δι ἀνθρώπου ξαμε death, δι ἀνθρώπου came also the resurrection of the dead;" where in the second clause the word "man," employed to recite the Lord Jesus, contemplates that aspect of his twofold being which places him as "the second Man" (1 Corinthians 15:47) in correlation to Adam, "the first Man." Similarly, the parallel with Adam again in Romans 5:12, 15 leads the apostle to adopt the expression," the one Man Jesus Christ" (cf. also ibid. 19). In 1 Timothy 2:5, "There is one God, one Mediator also between God and men, himself Man [or, 'a man'], Christ Jesus," our Lord's manhood, in accordance with the requirement of the context, is put forward as a bond of connection linking him with every human creature alike. These passages present Christ in the character simply of a human being. But in the passage before us the apostle at first sight appears to imply that, because he was an apostle through the agency of Jesus Christ, he was not an apostle through the agency of a human being; thus negativing, apparently, the manhood of Christ, at least as viewed in his present glorified condition. The inference, however, is plainly contradicted by both 1 Corinthians 15:21 and 1 Timothy 2:5; for the former passage points in "the second Man" to the "Lord from heaven," while the other refers to him as permanent "Mediator between God and men," both, therefore, speaking of Jesus in his present glorified condition. To obviate this difficulty some have proposed to take the "but" (ἀλλά), not as adversative, but as exceptive. But there is no justification for this - not even Mark 9:8 (see Winer's 'Gram. N. T.,' 53, 10, 1 b). A less precarious solution is arrived at by gathering out of the context the precise shade of meaning in which the word "man" is here used. Christ is indeed "Man," and his true manhood is the sense required in the two passages above cited; but he is also more than man; and it is those qualities of his being and of his state of existence which distinguish him from mere men, which the context shows to be now present to the apostle's mind. For the phrase, "through a man," is not contrasted by the words, "through Jesus Christ," alone, but by the whole clause: "through Jesus Christ, and God the Father who raised him from the dead." That is to say, in penning the former phrase, the apostle indicates by the word "man" one invested with the ordinary qualities of an earthly human condition; whereas the "Jesus Christ" through whom Heaven sent forth Saul as an apostle to the Gentiles was Jesus Christ blended with, inconceivably near to, God the Father, one with him; his oneness with him not veiled, as it was when he was upon earth, though really subsisting even then (John 10:30), but to all the universe manifested - manifested visibly to us upon earth by the resurrection of his body; in the spiritual, as yet now to us invisible world, by that sitting down on the right hand of God which was the implied sequel and climax of his resurrection. The strong sense which the apostle has of the unspeakably intimate conjunction subsisting. since his resurrection, between Jesus Christ viewed in his whole incarnate being and. God the Father, explains how it comes to pass that the two august Names are combined together under one single preposition, "through Jesus Christ, and God the Father." We shall have to notice the same phenomenon in ver. 3 in the apostle's formula of greeting prayer, "Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ;" on which see the note. We have the same conception of Christ's personality consequent upon his resurrection in the apostle's words relative to his apostolic appointment in Romans 1:4, 5; where the Jesus Christ through whom "he had received grace and apostleship," in contrast with his merely human condition as "of the seed of David according to the flesh," is described as "him who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead." The clause, "who raised him from the dead," has a twofold bearing upon the point in hand. 1. It supplies an answer to the objection which may be believed to have been made to Paul's claim to be regarded as an apostle sent forth by Jesus Christ, by those who said, "You have never seen Christ or been taught by him, like those whom he himself named apostles." The answer is, "You might object so if Jesus were no more than a dead man; but he is not that: he is a living Man raised from the dead by the Father; and as such I have myself seen him (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:1); and he it was that in his own person, and through no intervention of human agency, gave me both the commission to preach and the gospel which I was to preach" (see below, vers. 11, 12). 2. It connects the action of God the Father with that of Jesus Christ in appointing Paul to be an apostle; for the things which Christ did when raised from the dead and glorified with himself (John 17:5) by the Father must obviously have been done from, with, and in God the Father. It would unduly narrow the pragmatism of the clause if we limited it to either of the two purposes above indicated; both were probably in the mind of St. Paul in adding it. The immediate context gives no warrant for our supposing, as many have done, that the apostle has just here other truths in view as involved in the fact of our Lord's resurrection; such e.g. as he has himself indicated in Romans 4:24, 25; Romans 6; Colossians 3:1. However cogent and closely relevant some of these inferences might have been with respect to the subjects treated of in this Epistle, the Epistle itself, as a matter of fact, makes no other reference whatever to that great event, whether directly or indirectly. Should δι ἀνθρώπου be rendered "through man," the noun understood generically, as e.g. Psalm 56:1 (Septuagint), or "through a man," pointing to one individual being? It is not very material; but perhaps the second rendering is recommended by the consideration that, if the apostle had meant still to write generically, he would have repeated the plural noun already employed. Indeed, it may be thought a preferable rendering in the other passages above cited. The transition from the plural noun to the singular, as is noted by Bishop Lightfoot and others, "suggested itself in anticipation of the clause, 'through Jesus Christ,' which was to follow." In the expression, "God the Father," the addition of the words, "the Father," was not necessary for the indication of the Person meant, any more than in 1 Peter 1:21, "Believers in God which raised him from the dead," or in numberless other passages where the term "God" regularly designates the First Person in the blessed Trinity. It would be an incomplete paraphrase to explain it either as "God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," or as "God our Father." It is rather, "God the primary Author and supreme Orderer of all things," or, as in the Creed, "God the Father Almighty." It is best illustrated by the apostle's words in 1 Corinthians 8:6, "To us there is one God, the Father, of whom [i.e. out of whom, ἐξ οῦ] are all things, and we unto him; "and in Romans 11:36," Of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things." The apostle adds the term in order to make the designation of the supreme God, who is the Source of his apostleship, the more august and impressive.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Paul an apostle, not of men, neither by man,.... The writer of this epistle, Paul, puts his name to it, as to all his epistles, excepting that to the Hebrews, if that be his, being neither afraid nor ashamed to own what is herein contained. He asserts himself to be "an apostle", which was the highest office in the church, to which he was immediately called by Christ, and confirmed in it by signs and wonders. This he chose to mention, because of the false teachers, who had insinuated he was no apostle, and not to be regarded; whereas he had received grace and apostleship from Christ, and was an apostle, "not of men", as were the apostles or messengers of the sanhedrim (a); See Gill on 2 Corinthians 8:23 and as were the false apostles, who were sent out by men, who had no authority to send them forth: the apostle, as he did not take this honour to himself, did not thrust himself into this office, or run before he was sent; so he was not sent by men; he did not act upon human authority, or by an human commission: this is said in opposition to the false apostles, and to an unlawful investiture with the office of apostleship, and an usurpation of it, as well as to distinguish himself from the messengers and ambassadors of princes, who are sent with credentials by them to negotiate civil affairs for them in foreign courts, he being an ambassador of Christ; and from the messengers of churches, who were sometimes sent with assistance or advice to other churches; and he moreover says, "nor by man"; by a mere man, but by one that was more than a man; nor by a mortal man, but by Christ, as raised from the dead, immortal and glorious at God's right hand: or rather the sense is, he was not chosen into the office of apostleship by the suffrages of men, as Matthias was; or he was not ordained an apostle in the manner the ordinary ministers of the Gospel and pastors are, by the churches of Christ; so that as the former clause is opposed to an unlawful call of men, this is opposed to a lawful one; and shows him to be not an ordinary minister, but an extraordinary one, who was called to this office, not mediately by men, by any of the churches as common ministers are:

but by Jesus Christ; immediately, without the intervention of men, as appears from Acts 26:16. For what Ananias did upon his conversion was only putting his hands on him to recover his sight, and baptizing him; it was Christ that appeared to him personally, and made him a minister; and his separation with Barnabas, by the church, under the direction of the Holy Ghost, Acts 13:2 was to some particular work and service to be done by them, and not to apostleship, and which was long after Paul was made an apostle by Christ. Jesus Christ being here opposed to man, does not suggest that he was not a man, really and truly, for he certainly was; he partook of the same flesh and blood with us, and was in all things made like unto us, sin excepted; but that he was not a mere man, he was truly God as well as man; for as the raising him from the dead, in the next clause, shows him to be a man, or he could not have died; so his being opposed to man, and set in equality with God the Father, in this verse, and grace and peace being prayed for from him, as from the Father, Galatians 1:4 and the same glory ascribed to him as to the Father, Galatians 1:5 prove him to be truly and properly God. The apostle adds,

and God the Father; Christ and his Father being of the same nature and essence, power and authority, as they are jointly concerned and work together in the affairs or nature and Providence, so in those of grace; and particularly in constituting and ordaining apostles, and setting them in the church. This serves the more to confirm the divine authority under which Paul acted as an apostle, being not only made so by Christ, but also by God the Father, who is described as he,

who raised him from the dead; which is observed, not so much to express the divine power of the Father, or the glory of Christ, as raised from the dead, but to strengthen the validity of the apostle's character and commission as such; to whom it might have been objected, that he had not seen Christ in the flesh, nor familiarly conversed with him, as the rest of the apostles did: to which he was able to reply, that he was not called to be an apostle by Christ in his low and mean estate of humiliation, but by him after he was raised from the dead, and was set down at the right hand of God; who personally appeared to him in his glory, and was seen by him, and who made and appointed him his apostle, to bear his name before Gentiles, and kings, and the people of Israel; so that his call to apostleship was rather more grand and illustrious than that of any of the other apostles.

(a) Misn. Menachot, c. 10. sect. 3. & Yoma, c. 1. sect. 5.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS Commentary by A. R. Faussett

INTRODUCTION

The internal and external evidence for Paul's authorship is conclusive. The style is characteristically Pauline. The superscription, and allusions to the apostle of the Gentiles in the first person, throughout the Epistle, establish the same truth (Ga 1:1, 13-24; 2:1-14). His authorship is also upheld by the unanimous testimony of the ancient Church: compare Irenæus [Against Heresies, 3,7,2] (Ga 3:19); Polycarp [Epistle to the Philippians, 3] quotes Ga 4:26; 6:7; Justin Martyr, or whoever wrote the Discourse to the Greeks, alludes to Ga 4:12; 5:20.

The Epistle was written "TO THE CHURCHES OF Galatia" (Ga 1:2), a district of Asia Minor, bordering on Phrygia, Pontus, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Paphlagonia. The inhabitants (Gallo-græci, contracted into Galati, another form of the name Celts) were Gauls in origin, the latter having overrun Asia Minor after they had pillaged Delphi, about 280 B.C. and at last permanently settled in the central parts, thence called Gallo-græcia or Galatia. Their character, as shown in this Epistle, is in entire consonance with that ascribed to the Gallic race by all writers. Cæsar [Commentaries on the Gallic War, 4,5], "The infirmity of the Gauls is that they are fickle in their resolves and fond of change, and not to be trusted." So Thierry (quoted by Alford), "Frank, impetuous, impressible, eminently intelligent, but at the same time extremely changeable, inconstant, fond of show, perpetually quarrelling, the fruit of excessive vanity." They received Paul at first with all joy and kindness; but soon wavered in their allegiance to the Gospel and to him, and hearkened as eagerly now to Judaizing teachers as they had before to him (Ga 4:14-16). The apostle himself had been the first preacher among them (Ac 16:6; Ga 1:8; 4:13; see on [2327]Ga 4:13; "on account of infirmity of flesh I preached unto you at the first": implying that sickness detained him among them); and had then probably founded churches, which at his subsequent visit he "strengthened" in the faith (Ac 18:23). His first visit was about A.D. 51, during his second missionary journey. Josephus [Antiquities, 16.62] testifies that many Jews resided in Ancyra in Galatia. Among these and their brethren, doubtless, as elsewhere, he began his preaching. And though subsequently the majority in the Galatian churches were Gentiles (Ga 4:8, 9), yet these were soon infected by Judaizing teachers, and almost suffered themselves to be persuaded to undergo circumcision (Ga 1:6; 3:1, 3; 5:2, 3; 6:12, 13). Accustomed as the Galatians had been, when heathen, to the mystic worship of Cybele (prevalent in the neighboring region of Phrygia), and the theosophistic doctrines connected with that worship, they were the more readily led to believe that the full privileges of Christianity could only be attained through an elaborate system of ceremonial symbolism (Ga 4:9-11; 5:7-12). They even gave ear to the insinuation that Paul himself observed the law among the Jews, though he persuaded the Gentiles to renounce it, and that his motive was to keep his converts in a subordinate state, excluded from the full privileges of Christianity, which were enjoyed by the circumcised alone (Ga 5:11, Ga 4:16, compare with Ga 2:17); and that in "becoming all things to all men," he was an interested flatterer (Ga 1:10), aiming at forming a party for himself: moreover, that he falsely represented himself as an apostle divinely commissioned by Christ, whereas he was but a messenger sent by the Twelve and the Church at Jerusalem, and that his teaching was now at variance with that of Peter and James, "pillars" of the Church, and therefore ought not to be accepted.

His PURPOSE, then, in writing this Epistle was: (1) to defend his apostolic authority (Ga 1:11-19; 2:1-14); (2) to counteract the evil influence of the Judaizers in Galatia (Ga 3:1-4:31), and to show that their doctrine destroyed the very essence of Christianity, by lowering its spirituality to an outward ceremonial system; (3) to give exhortation for the strengthening of Galatian believers in faith towards Christ, and in the fruits of the Spirit (Ga 5:1-6:18). He had already, face to face, testified against the Judaizing teachers (Ga 1:9; 4:16; Ac 18:23); and now that he has heard of the continued and increasing prevalence of the evil, he writes with his own hand (Ga 6:11: a labor which he usually delegated to an amanuensis) this Epistle to oppose it. The sketch he gives in it of his apostolic career confirms and expands the account in Acts and shows his independence of human authority, however exalted. His protest against Peter in Ga 2:14-21, disproves the figment, not merely of papal, but even of that apostle's supremacy; and shows that Peter, save when specially inspired, was fallible like other men.

There is much in common between this Epistle and that to the Romans on the subject of justification by faith only, and not by the law. But the Epistle to the Romans handles the subject in a didactic and logical mode, without any special reference; this Epistle, in a controversial manner, and with special reference to the Judaizers in Galatia.

The STYLE combines the two extremes, sternness. (Ga 1:1-24; 3:1-5) and tenderness (Ga 4:19, 20), the characteristics of a man of strong emotions, and both alike well suited for acting on an impressible people such as the Galatians were. The beginning is abrupt, as was suited to the urgency of the question and the greatness of the danger. A tone of sadness, too, is apparent, such as might be expected in the letter of a warm-hearted teacher who had just learned that those whom he loved were forsaking his teachings for those of perverters of the truth, as well as giving ear to calumnies against himself.

The TIME OF WRITING was after the visit to Jerusalem recorded in Ac 15:1, &c.; that is, A.D. 50, if that visit be, as seems probable, identical with that in Ga 2:1. Further, as Ga 1:9 ("as we said before"), and Ga 4:16 ("Have [Alford] I become your enemy?" namely, at my second visit, whereas I was welcomed by you at my first visit), refer to his second visit (Ac 18:23), this Epistle must have been written after the date of that visit (the autumn of A.D. 54). Ga 4:13, "Ye know how … I preached … at the first" (Greek, "at the former time"), implies that Paul, at the time of writing, had been twice in Galatia; and Ga 1:6, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed," implies that he wrote not long after having left Galatia for the second time; probably in the early part of his residence at Ephesus (Ac 18:23; 19:1, &c., from A.D. 54, the autumn, to A.D. 57, Pentecost) [Alford]. Conybeare and Howson, from the similarity between this Epistle and that to the Romans, the same line of argument in both occupying the writer's mind, think it was not written till his stay at Corinth (Ac 20:2, 3), during the winter of 57-58, whence he wrote his Epistle to the Romans; and certainly, in the theory of the earlier writing of it from Ephesus, it does seem unlikely that the two Epistles to the Corinthians, so dissimilar, should intervene between those so similar as the Epistles to the Galatians and Romans; or that the Epistle to the Galatians should intervene between the second to the Thessalonians and the first to the Corinthians. The decision between the two theories rests on the words, "so soon." If these be not considered inconsistent with little more than three years having elapsed since his second visit to Galatia, the argument, from the similarity to the Epistle to the Romans, seems to me conclusive. This to the Galatians seems written on the urgency of the occasion, tidings having reached him at Corinth from Ephesus of the Judaizing of many of his Galatian converts, in an admonitory and controversial tone, to maintain the great principles of Christian liberty and justification by faith only; that to the Romans is a more deliberate and systematic exposition of the same central truths of theology, subsequently drawn up in writing to a Church with which he was personally unacquainted. See on [2328]Ga 1:6, for Birks's view. Paley [Horæ Paulinæ] well remarks how perfectly adapted the conduct of the argument is to the historical circumstances under which the Epistle was written! Thus, that to the Galatians, a Church which Paul had founded, he puts mainly upon authority; that to the Romans, to whom he was not personally known, entirely upon argument.

CHAPTER 1

Ga 1:1-24. Superscription. Greetings. The Cause of His Writing Is Their Speedy Falling Away from the Gospel He Taught. Defense of His Teaching: His Apostolic Call Independent of Man.

Judaizing teachers had persuaded the Galatians that Paul had taught them the new religion imperfectly, and at second hand; that the founder of their church himself possessed only a deputed commission, the seal of truth and authority being in the apostles at Jerusalem: moreover, that whatever he might profess among them, he had himself at other times, and in other places, given way to the doctrine of circumcision. To refute this, he appeals to the history of his conversion, and to the manner of his conferring with the apostles when he met them at Jerusalem; that so far was his doctrine from being derived from them, or they from exercising any superiority over him, that they had simply assented to what he had already preached among the Gentiles, which preaching was communicated, not by them to him, but by himself to them [Paley]. Such an apologetic Epistle could not be a later forgery, the objections which it meets only coming out incidentally, not being obtruded as they would be by a forger; and also being such as could only arise in the earliest age of the Church, when Jerusalem and Judaism still held a prominent place.

1. apostle—in the earliest Epistles, the two to the Thessalonians, through humility, he uses no title of authority; but associates with him "Silvanus and Timotheus"; yet here, though "brethren" (Ga 1:2) are with him, he does not name them but puts his own name and apostleship prominent: evidently because his apostolic commission needs now to be vindicated against deniers of it.

of—Greek, "from." Expressing the origin from which his mission came, "not from men," but from Christ and the Father (understood) as the source. "By" expresses the immediate operating agent in the call. Not only was the call from God as its ultimate source, but by Christ and the Father as the immediate agent in calling him (Ac 22:15; 26:16-18). The laying on of Ananias' hands (Ac 9:17) is no objection to this; for that was but a sign of the fact, not an assisting cause. So the Holy Ghost calls him specially (Ac 13:2, 3); he was an apostle before this special mission.

man—singular; to mark the contrast to "Jesus Christ." The opposition between "Christ" and "man," and His name being put in closest connection with God the Father, imply His Godhead.

raised him from the dead—implying that, though he had not seen Him in His humiliation as the other apostles (which was made an objection against him), he had seen and been constituted an apostle by Him in His resurrection power (Mt 28:18; Ro 1:4, 5). Compare as to the ascension, the consequence of the resurrection, and the cause of His giving "apostles," Eph 4:11. He rose again, too, for our justification (Ro 4:25); thus Paul prepares the way for the prominent subject of the Epistle, justification in Christ, not by the law.

Galatians 1:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul's Greeting to the Galatians
1Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:…
Cross References
Acts 2:24
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Acts 2:32
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.

Acts 9:15
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

Galatians 1:11
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.

Galatians 1:12
I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:15
But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by his grace, was pleased
Treasury of Scripture

Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

an. See on

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated …

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of …

not.

Galatians 1:11,12,17 But I certify you, brothers, that the gospel which was preached of …

neither.

Acts 1:16-26 Men and brothers, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled…

Acts 13:2-4 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said…

but.

Acts 9:6,15,16 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what will you have me …

Acts 22:10,14-21 And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said to me, Arise, …

Acts 26:16-18 But rise, and stand on your feet: for I have appeared to you for this purpose…

Romans 1:4,5 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit …

2 Corinthians 3:1-3 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, …

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given…

1 Timothy 1:11-14 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed …

2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to …

Titus 1:3 But has in due times manifested his word through preaching, which …

and.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me …

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, …

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be to you: as my Father has …

raised.

Acts 2:24-32 Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because …

Acts 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God has raised from the dead; …

Romans 4:24,25 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him …

Romans 10:9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall …

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he …

Ephesians 1:19,20 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, …

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, …

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and …

Revelation 1:5,18 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first …

Revelation 2:8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things said …

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