|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:11-14 Notwithstanding Peter's character, yet, when Paul saw him acting so as to hurt the truth of the gospel and the peace of the church, he was not afraid to reprove him. When he saw that Peter and the others did not live up to that principle which the gospel taught, and which they professed, namely, That by the death of Christ the partition wall between Jew and Gentile was taken down, and the observance of the law of Moses was no longer in force; as Peter's offence was public, he publicly reproved him. There is a very great difference between the prudence of St. Paul, who bore with, and used for a time, the ceremonies of the law as not sinful, and the timid conduct of St. Peter, who, by withdrawing from the Gentiles, led others to think that these ceremonies were necessary.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him,.... Not the men that came from James, for they never acted otherwise, and therefore could not be said to dissemble; but the Jews that were members of this church at Antioch from the beginning; or who came along with Paul and Barnabas, and stayed with them there; see Acts 15:35 and who before had ate with the Gentiles, as Peter; but being under the same fear he was, and influenced by his example, concealed their true sentiments, and acted the very reverse of them, and of their former conduct:
insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation; so good a man as he was, full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost; who had been a companion of the Apostle Paul's in his travels among the Gentiles, had greatly assisted him in preaching the Gospel to them, was a messenger with him at the council in Jerusalem, heard the debates of that assembly, and the issue of them, returned with him to Antioch, and was one with him both in principle and practice; and yet so forcible was the example of Peter, and the other Jews, that, as with a mighty torrent, he was carried away with it, and not able to withstand it; such is the force of example in men who are had in great veneration and esteem: wherefore it becomes all persons, particularly magistrates, masters of families, and ministers of the Gospel, to be careful what examples they set, since men both of grace and sense are much influenced by them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. the other—Greek, "the rest."
dissembled likewise—Greek, "joined in hypocrisy," namely, in living as though the law were necessary to justification, through fear of man, though they knew from God their Christian liberty of eating with Gentiles, and had availed themselves of it already (Ac 11:2-17). The case was distinct from that in 1Co 8:1-10:33; Ro 14:1-23. It was not a question of liberty, and of bearing with others' infirmities, but one affecting the essence of the Gospel, whether the Gentiles are to be virtually "compelled to live as do the Jews," in order to be justified (Ga 2:14).
Barnabas also—"Even Barnabas": one least likely to be led into such an error, being with Paul in first preaching to the idolatrous Gentiles: showing the power of bad example and numbers. In Antioch, the capital of Gentile Christianity and the central point of Christian missions, the controversy first arose, and in the same spot it now broke out afresh; and here Paul had first to encounter the party that afterwards persecuted him in every scene of his labors (Ac 15:30-35).
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