Galatians 2:11
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11-14) The next phase in this question was at Antioch. On his coming thither Peter was guilty of a great inconsistency. He began by eating freely with the Gentile converts, but the arrival of a party of the stricter Jews from Jerusalem was enough to make him alter his practice. He gradually withdrew and held aloof, and a number of others, including even Barnabas, followed his example. This conduct of his I openly reproved, asking him why it was that at one moment he himself did not hesitate to adopt the custom of the Gentiles, while at another he insisted upon their conforming to those of the Jews.

(11) When Peter . . .—The true reading here is undoubtedly Cephas. The visit alluded to probably took place soon after the return of Paul and Barnabas, in the interval described in Acts 15:35, shortly before the separation of these two Apostles and the departure of St. Paul on his second missionary journey.

Because he was to be blamed.—The Greek here is simply, because he was condemned. The act carried with it its own condemnation.

The blame thus imputed to St. Peter was a subject of much controversy in antiquity. It was made a ground of accusation against both Apostles. The Ebionites—as represented in the well known heretical work, the Clementine Homilies—charged St. Paul with hostility to the faith, asserting that by calling Peter condemned” he was really accusing “God who revealed Christ in him.” On the other hand, Marcion, the Gnostic, saw in the incident a proof of the antagonism between Judaism and Christianity (as he understood it), represented by their several champions. The heathen critic Porphyry attacked both Apostles alike, the one for error, the other for forwardness in rebuking that error, and points to the whole scene as one of ecclesiastical wrangling.

The unfortunate result of these criticisms was that they led to attempts, on the part of the orthodox writers, to explain away the simple meaning of the narrative. Clement of Alexandria maintained that the Cephas here mentioned was not the Apostle St. Peter, but an inferior person, one of the seventy disciples. A more popular theory was that which was started by Origen, elaborated by Chrysostom, and defended with great vehemence by Jerome in a controversy with Augustine. This theory was that the two Apostles had arranged the scene beforehand between themselves, and acted it out for the edification of the Judaisers. St. Paul was to represent the view sanctioned by the Church, and St. Peter was to give an eminent example of submission. This view, though it held its ground for two centuries, was finally put down by the straightforwardness and good sense of St. Augustine.

The true explanation of the incident is to be found in the character of St. Peter—at once generously impulsive and timidly sensitive to the opinion of others. An inconsistency very similar to this appears in his ardent confession, followed by the betrayal of his Master (Mark 14:29; Mark 14:66 et seq.). It had been seen at an earlier date in his attempt to walk upon the water (Matthew 14:28-33); and is, indeed, one of the features in his character most conspicuous in the Gospels. A little more attention to this would have saved many doctrinaire objections to the narrative of the Acts, where the inconsistency, which is really one of character, is treated as if it stood in the way of the objective truth of the events.

Galatians 2:11. But, &c. — The argument here comes to the height: Paul reproves Peter himself; so far was he from receiving his doctrine from man, or from being inferior to the chief of the apostles; when Peter was come to Antioch — After Barnabas and I were returned thither; I withstood him to the face — Or opposed him personally in the presence of the church there, then the chief of all the Gentile churches; because he was to be blamed — For the fear of man, Galatians 2:12; for dissimulation, Galatians 2:13; and for not walking uprightly, Galatians 2:14. To show what kind of interpreters of Scripture some of the most learned fathers were, Dr. Macknight quotes Jerome here as translating the phrase, κατα προσωτον, which we render to the face, secundum faciem, in appearance; supposing Paul’s meaning to be, “that he and Peter were not serious in this dispute; but, by a holy kind of dissimulation, endeavoured on the one hand, to give satisfaction to the Gentiles, and on the other not to offend the Jews. By such interpretations as these, the fathers pretended to justify the deceits which they used for persuading the heathen to embrace the gospel!” From the instance of Peter’s imprudence and sin, here recorded, the most advanced, whether in knowledge or holiness, may learn to take heed lest they fall. For before certain persons — Who were zealous for the observation of the ceremonies of the law; came from James — Who was then at Jerusalem; he did eat with the converted Gentiles — In Antioch, on all occasions, and conversed freely with them; but when they were come he withdrew — From that freedom of converse; and separated himself — From them, as if he had thought them unclean: and this he did, not from any change in his sentiments, but purely as fearing them of the circumcision — Namely, the converted Jews, whom he was unwilling to displease, because he thought their censures of much greater importance than they really were. The Jews, it must be observed, reckoned it unlawful to eat with the proselytes of the gate; that is, such proselytes to their religion as had not submitted to the rite of circumcision, nor engaged to observe the whole ceremonial law, (see Acts 10:28; Acts 11:3,) some meats permitted to them being unclean to the Jews; and the other believing Jews — Who were at Antioch, and had before used the like freedom; dissembled with him — In thus scrupulously avoiding all free converse with their Gentile brethren; insomuch that Barnabas also — Who with me had preached salvation to the Gentiles without the works of the law, Acts 13:39; was carried away — Namely, by the force of authority and example in opposition to judgment and conviction, and even against his will, as the word συναπηχθη, here used, appears to imply; with their dissimulation — Or hypocrisy. 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.But when Peter was come to Antioch - On the situation of Antioch, see the note at Acts 11:19. The design for which Paul introduces this statement here is evident. It is to show that he regarded himself as on a level with the chief apostles, and that he did not acknowledge his inferiority to any of them. Peter was the oldest, and probably the most honored of the apostles. Yet Paul says that he did not hesitate to resist him in a case where Peter was manifestly wrong, and thus showed that he was an apostle of the same standing as the others. Besides, what he said to Peter on that occasion was exactly pertinent to the strain of the argument which he was pursuing with the Galatians, and he therefore introduces it Galatians 2:14-21 to show that he had held the same doctrine all along, and that he had defended it in the presence of Peter, and in a case where Peter did not reply to it. The time of this journey of Peter to Antioch cannot be ascertained; nor the occasion on which it occurred. I think it is evident that it was after this visit of Paul to Jerusalem, and the occasion may have been to inspect the state of the church at Antioch, and to compose any differences of opinion which may have existed there. But everything in regard to this is mere conjecture; and it is of little importance to know when it occurred.

I withstood him to the face - I openly opposed him, and reproved him. Paul thus showed that he was equal with Peter in his apostolical authority and dignity. The instance before us is one of faithful public reproof; and every circumstance in it is worthy of special attention, as it furnishes a most important illustration of the manner in which such reproof should be conducted. The first thing to be noted is, that it was done openly, and with candor. It was reproof addressed to the offender himself. Paul did not go to others and whisper his suspicions; he did not seek to undermine the influence and authority of another by slander; he did not calumniate him and then justify himself on the ground that what he had said was no more than true: he went to him at once, and he frankly stated his views and reproved him in a case where he was manifestly wrong. This too was a case so public and well known that Paul made his remarks before the church Galatians 2:14 because the church was interested in it, and because the conduct of Peter led the church into error.

Because he was to be blamed - The word used here may either mean because he had incurred blame, or because he deserved blame. The essential idea is, that he had done wrong, and that he was by his conduct doing injury to the cause of religion.

11. Peter—"Cephas" in the oldest manuscripts Paul's withstanding Peter is the strongest proof that the former gives of the independence of his apostleship in relation to the other apostles, and upsets the Romish doctrine of Peter's supremacy. The apostles were not always inspired; but were so always in writing the Scriptures. If then the inspired men who wrote them were not invariably at other times infallible, much less were the uninspired men who kept them. The Christian fathers may be trusted generally as witnesses to facts, but not implicitly followed in matters of opinion.

come to Antioch—then the citadel of the Gentile Church: where first the Gospel was preached to idolatrous Gentiles, and where the name "Christians" was first given (Ac 11:20, 26), and where Peter is said to have been subsequently bishop. The question at Antioch was not whether the Gentiles were admissible to the Christian covenant without becoming circumcised—that was the question settled at the Jerusalem council just before—but whether the Gentile Christians were to be admitted to social intercourse with the Jewish Christians without conforming to the Jewish institution. The Judaizers, soon after the council had passed the resolutions recognizing the equal rights of the Gentile Christians, repaired to Antioch, the scene of the gathering in of the Gentiles (Ac 11:20-26), to witness, what to Jews would look so extraordinary, the receiving of men to communion of the Church without circumcision. Regarding the proceeding with prejudice, they explained away the force of the Jerusalem decision; and probably also desired to watch whether the Jewish Christians among the Gentiles violated the law, which that decision did not verbally sanction them in doing, though giving the Gentiles latitude (Ac 15:19).

to be blamed—rather, "(self)-condemned"; his act at one time condemning his contrary acting at another time.

Of this motion of Peter’s to Antioch the Scripture saying nothing, hath left interpreters at liberty to guess variously as to the time; solne judging it was before, some after, the council held at Jerusalem, of which we read, Acts 15:1-41. Those seem to judge best, who think it was after; for it was at Antioch, while Barnabas was with Paul; now Paul and Barnabas came from Jernsalem to Antioch, to bring thither the decrees of that council; and at Antioch Barnabas parted from Paul; after which we never read of them as being together. While Paul and Barnabas were together at Antioch, Peter came thither; where, Paul saith, he was so far from taking instructions from him, that he

withstood him to the face. Not by any acts of violence, (though the word often expresseth such acts), but by words reproving and blaming him; for, (saith he) he deserved it,

he was to be blamed. Though the word signifies, he was condemned, which makes some to interpret it, as if Peter had met with some reprehension for his fact before Paul blamed him, yet there is no ground for it; for though the Greek participle be in the preterperfect tense, yet it is a Hebraism, and put for a noun verbal, which in Latin is sometimes expressed by the future, according to which we translate it; see 1 Corinthians 1:18 2 Corinthians 2:15 2 Peter 2:4 so our interpreters have truly translated it according to the sense of the text. But when Peter was come to Antioch,.... The Alexandrian copy, and others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, instead of "Peter", read "Cephas", who, by some ancient writers, is said to be not Peter the Apostle, named Cephas by Christ, but one of the seventy disciples. So Clemens (h) says, that Cephas, of whom Paul speaks, that when he came to Antioch he withstood him to his face, was one of the seventy disciples who had the same name with Peter the Apostle: and Jerom says (i) that there were some who were of opinion, that Cephas, of whom Paul writes that he withstood him to his face, was not the Apostle Peter, but one of the seventy disciples called by that name: but without any manner of foundation; for the series of the discourse, and the connection of the words, most clearly show, that that same Cephas, or Peter, one of the twelve disciples mentioned, Galatians 2:9, with James and John, as pillars, is here meant. Our apostle first takes notice of a visit he made him, three years after his conversion, Galatians 1:18, when his stay with him was but fifteen days, and, for what appears, there was then an entire harmony between them; fourteen years after he went up to Jerusalem again, and communicated his Gospel to Peter, and the rest, when they also were perfectly agreed; but now at Antioch there was a dissension between them, which is here related. However, the Papists greedily catch at this, to secure the infallibility of the bishops of Rome, who pretend to be the successors of Peter, lest, should the apostle appear blameworthy, and to be reproved and opposed, they could not, with any grace, assume a superior character to his: but that Peter the Apostle is here designed is so manifest, that some of their best writers are obliged to own it, and give up the other as a mere conceit. When Peter came to Antioch is not certain; some have thought it was before the council at Jerusalem concerning the necessity of circumcision to salvation, because it is thought that after the decree of that council Peter would never have behaved in such a manner as there related; though it should be observed, that that decree did not concern the Jews, and their freedom from the observance of the law, only the Gentiles; so that Peter and other Jews might, as it is certain they did, notwithstanding that, retain the rites and ceremonies of the law of Moses; and according to the series of things, and the order of the account, it seems to be after that council, when Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, and with others continued there for some time, during which time Peter came thither; see Acts 15:30 and the following contention happened,

I withstood him to the face: not in show, and outward appearance only, as some of the ancients have thought, as if this was an artifice of the apostle's, that the Jews, having an opportunity of hearing what might be said in favour of eating with the Gentiles, might be convinced of the propriety of it, and not be offended with it: but this is to make the apostle guilty of the evil he charges Peter with, namely, dissimulation; no, the opposition was real, and in all faithfulness and integrity; he did not go about as a tale bearer, whisperer, and backbiter, but reproved him to his face, freely spoke his mind to him, boldly resisted him, honestly endeavoured to convince him of his mistake, and to put a stop to his conduct; though he did not withstand him as an enemy, or use him with rudeness and ill manners; or as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, and false teachers resist the truth; but as a friend and an apostle, and in an amicable manner, and yet with all uprightness: his reason for it was,

because he was to be blamed; some read it, "was blamed", or "condemned", either by others, by the Jews, for his going into Cornelius's house formerly; but what has this to do with the present case? or by those who lately came from James to Antioch, for his eating with the Gentiles there; yet this could be no reason for the apostle's withstanding him, but rather a reason why he should stand by him; or he was condemned by himself, self-condemned, acting contrary to the sentiments of his mind, and what he had declared in the council at Jerusalem; though it is best to render the word, to be blamed, which shows that the apostle did not oppose him for opposition sake, rashly, and without any foundation; there was a just reason for it, he had done that which was culpable, and for which he was blameworthy; and what that was is mentioned in the next verse.

(h) Apud Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 1. c. 12. (i) In loc.

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the {i} face, because he was to be blamed.

(i) Before all men.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Galatians 2:11. Paul now carries still further the historical proof of his apostolic independence; “ad summa venit argumentum,” Bengel. For not only has he not been, instructed by the apostles; not only has he been recognised by them, and received into alliance with them; but he has even asserted his apostolic authority against one of them, and indeed against Peter. There is no ground in the text for assuming (with Hofmann) any suspicion on the part of the apostle’s opponents, that in Antioch he had been defiant, and in Jerusalem submissive, towards Peter.

ὅτε δὲ ἦλθε Κηφᾶς κ.τ.λ.] After the apostolic conference, Paul and Barnabas travelled back to Antioch, Acts 15:30. During their sojourn there (Acts 15:33) Peter also came thither,—a journey, which indeed is not mentioned in Acts, but which, just because no date is given in our passage, must be considered as having taken place soon after the matters previously related (not so late as Acts 18:23, as held by Neander, Baumgarten, Lange; and by Wieseler, in favour of his view that the journey Galatians 2:1 coincides with that of Acts 18:22).[83]

Κηφᾶς] The opinion deduced from the unfavourable tenor of this narrative, as bearing upon Peter, by Clement of Alexandria ap. Euseb. i. 12, that the person meant is not the apostle, who certainly in this case is far from corresponding to his destination as “the rock” of the church, but a certain Cephas, one of the seventy disciples, has been already refuted by Jerome, and also by Gregory, Hom. 18 in Ez.

κατὰ πρόσωπον] To his face I opposed him. See Acts 3:13; often in Polybius. Comp. κατʼ ὀφθαλμούς, Herod. i. 120; Xen. Hiero, 1, 14: Galatians 3:1; and κατʼ ὄμμα, Eur. Rhes. 421, Bacch. 469. Not coram omnibus (Erasmus, Beza, Vatablus), which is not expressed until Galatians 2:14. The opinion of Jerome, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and several Fathers, that the contention here related was nothing more than a contention in semblance (κατὰ πρόσωπον = secundum speciem!), is only remarkable as a matter of history.[84]

ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν] not “quia reprehensibilis or reprehendendus erat” (Vulgate, Castalio, Calvin, Beza, Cornelius a Lapide, Elsner, Wolf, and others; also Koppe, Borger, Flatt, Matthies); for the Greek participle is never used, like the Hebrew, for the verbal adjective (Gesenius, Lehrgeb. p. 791; Ewald, p. 538), neither in Judges 1:12, Revelation 21:8, nor in Hom. Il. i. 388, xiv. 196, xviii. 427; and what a feeble, unnecessary reason to assign would be ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν in this sense! Moreover, καταγιγνώσκειν τινα (not to be confounded with καταγ. τινός τι, as is done by Matthias), so far as its significations are relevant here, does not mean reprehendere at all, but either to accuse, which here would not go far enough, or condemnare (comp. 1 John 3:20-21; Sir 14:2; Sir 19:5). Hence also it is not: quia reprehensus or accusatus erat (Ambrose, Luther, Estius, and others; also Winer, Schott, de Wette), but: quia condemnatus erat, whereby the notorious certainty of the offence occasioned is indicated, and the stringent ground for Paul’s coming forward against him is made evident. Peter, through his offensive behaviour, had become the object of condemnation on the part of the Christians of Antioch; the public judgment had turned against him; and so Paul could not keep silence, but was compelled to do what he certainly did with reluctance. The passive participle has not a vis reciproca (Bengel, comp. Rückert, “because he had an evil conscience”); the condemnation of Peter was the act of the Christian public in Antioch. The idea “convicted before God” (Ewald) would have been expressed, if it had been so meant. If the condemnation is understood as having ensued through his own mode of action (Bengel, Lechler, p. 423; comp. Windischmann and Hofmann), the question as to the persons from whom the condemnation proceeds is left unanswered.

[83] Grotius, although he considers the journey Galatians 2:1 as identical with that in Acts 15, strangely remarks: “Videtur significare id tempus, de quo in Acts 13:1.” Also Hug and Schneckenburger, Zweck d. Apostelg. p. 108 ff., place the occurrence at Antioch earlier than the apostolic council,—a view which, according to the chronological course of Galatians 1:2, is simply an error; in which, however, Augustine, ep. 19 ad Hieron., had preceded them.—Whether, moreover, Peter then visited the church at Antioch for the first time (Thiersch, Kirche im apost. Zeitalt. p. 432) must he left undecided; but looking at the length of time during which this church had already existed, it is not at all probable that it was his first visit.

[84] A contest arose on this point between Jerome and Augustine. The former characterized the reprehensio in our passage as dispensatoria, so contrived by Peter and Paul, in order to convince the Jewish Christians of the invalidity of the law, when they should see that Peter had the worst of it against Paul. Augustine, on the contrary, asserted the correct sense, and maintained that the interpretation of Jerome introduced untruth into the Scriptures. See Jerome, Ep. 86–97; Augustine, Ep. 8–19. Subsequently Jerome gave up his view and adopted the right one: c. Pelag. i. 8; Apol. adv. Rufin. iii. 1. See Möhler, gesammelte Schriften, I. p. 1 ff.Galatians 2:11-14. INTRIGUE AT ANTIOCH TO AFFIX THE STIGMA OF UNCLEANNESS ON UNCIRCUMCISED BRETHREN, COUNTENANCED BY PETER AND BARNABAS, BUT OPENLY REBUKED BY PAUL.—The gathering of many Christians at Antioch after the Apostolic Council during the sojourn of Paul and Barnabas in that city is recorded in the Acts, but no mention is made of Peter or of this episode. The omission is instructive, for it bears out the impression which the Epistle itself conveys that the collision was a transitory incident, and had no lasting effect on Church history. The fact, however, that Peter and Barnabas both consented to affix the stigma of uncleanness on their uncircumcised brethren rather than incur the obloquy of eating with them bears striking testimony to the strength of the prejudices which then prevailed among Jewish Christians. Neither of them had any real scruples about intercourse with these brethren: Peter had been taught of God long ago not to call any unclean whom God had cleansed, and had recently protested at Jerusalem against laying the yoke of the Law upon the neck of the disciples; Barnabas had ministered for years to Greek converts, had championed their cause at Jerusalem with Paul, and had like Peter consorted with them freely of late: yet neither of them had the moral courage to act up to their convictions under the eyes of the brethren from Jerusalem. Their vacillation attests the difficulty of retaining Jews and Greeks in one communion, and the wisdom and prudence which guided the decision of the Apostolic Council. But that decision had materially strengthened Paul’s position. A basis of union had been formally ratified between the two Churches of Jerusalem and Antioch. The Church of Jerusalem by calling on Greek Christians to consent, as they had done, to certain prescribed forms of abstinence had virtually bound themselves to accept these as conditions of intercourse, and the withdrawal from the common meal violated therefore the spirit of a solemn treaty. Paul had therefore strong ground for remonstrance, independently of his authority in his own Church, and his protest was evidently effectual, though he refrains from recording Peter’s humiliating retreat from a false position. For it is recorded here for the express purpose of exemplifying his successful vindication of his apostolic rights.

The early Fathers shrank from admitting the moral cowardice of which Peter was guilty on this occasion, and made various efforts to evade the plain sense. Clement of Alexandria questioned the identity of Cephas with the Apostle. Origen propounded a theory that the scene was a preconcerted plot between the two Apostles for the confutation of the Judaisers; and this theory prevailed extensively in spite of the discredit which it cast on the character of both until it was effectually exposed by Augustine in controversy with Jerome, who had himself adopted it.

Again, this momentary collision be ween the two great Apostles was distorted by party spirit into an evidence of personal rivalry. Their preeminence in their two respective spheres has been already noted as early as the Apostolic Council, and this led, perhaps inevitably, to personal comparison. In the Corinthian Church opposite partisans adopted their names for rival watch-words. At a later time elaborate fictions of their lifelong antagonism were invented and circulated in the Clementine literature. But the collision here mentioned was obviously a transitory incident. The language of gratitude and esteem applied to Peter elsewhere in the Epistle precludes any idea of permanent estrangement.—ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν. Our versions are surely wrong in giving a causal force to ὅτι in this clause, for it adduces no clear and reasonable justification of the opposition offered. It is much better to take ὅτι as declarative: Paul is here stating the ground which he took up against Peter: I withstood him, saying that he had condemned himself. He urged that Peter was condemned by his own inconsistency. By first eating with Gentiles and then pressing upon them observance of the very principles that he had violated he was playing fast and loose with the Law.11. Peter] In the Greek, ‘Cephas’, the Apostle Peter. The difficulty of accepting this narrative in its obvious sense, led some in early times to suggest that not the Apostle, but one of the seventy disciples of the same name, is here referred to.

withstood him to the face] Jerome’s well-known solution of the difficulty—a solution which approved itself to Chrysostom—that the reproof was only apparent, was refuted by Augustine and ultimately abandoned by Jerome. It supposes a preconcerted plan for convincing, not Peter, but the Jewish converts, that the obligation of the ceremonial law had ceased, and leans for support on a mistranslation, ‘in appearance’, for ‘to the face’. The exact expression is found in the LXX. Deuteronomy 7:24; Deuteronomy 9:2; Jdg 2:14. At Jerusalem St Paul’s authority had been confirmed by the acquiescence of the Church; here it must be asserted in opposition to the temporising conduct of St Peter.

was to be blamed] Better, as R.V. stood condemned, convicted of dissimulation by the very facts of the case.

11–21. We learn from Acts 15:22, foll. that when the Council broke up, certain members of the Apostolic company were sent to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, to convey to the Churches of Syria and Cilicia the determination of the Church in Jerusalem on the question which had been submitted to them, as to the necessity of circumcision in the case of Gentile converts. After the deputation had returned to Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas “tarried in Antioch”. It was during their stay that the visit of St Peter took place, as to which St Luke is silent.

Various attempts were made in early times to explain away an incident, which seemed to throw discredit on Peter or Paul or on both of them. To some it appeared incredible that Peter, the Apostle of the circumcision, should have been permitted to fall into grievous doctrinal error; to others, that St Paul should have treated him with such severity; to a third class, that such a dispute should have arisen in the infancy of the Church between its two principal teachers, both being inspired men. But we may note,

1st, that the error of St Peter did not consist in preaching false doctrine, but in a want of straightforwardness of conduct, by which the ‘truth of the Gospel’ was liable to be perverted.

2nd, that moral perfection is not to be looked for, even in an Apostle.

3rd, that St Peter’s conduct, as here described, is quite consistent with that pourtrayed by the Evangelists. ‘Boldness and timidity, first boldness, then timidity, were the characteristics of his nature.

“It is remarkable, and may be considered as a proof of the truth of the history, that this conduct, however unintelligible, is in keeping with Peter’s character. We recognise in it the lineaments of him who confessed Christ first, and first denied Him; who began by refusing that Christ should wash his feet, and then said, ‘not my feet only, but my hands and my head’; who cut off the ear of the servant of the highpriest, when they came to take Jesus, and then forsook Him and fled”. Jowett.

4th, that St Paul’s rebuke, though unsparing, is free from any rudeness of expression or personal animosity.

5th, that the record of this painful interview, while placing St Paul’s Apostolic authority in the strongest light, and therefore germane to his purpose in the opening chapters of this Epistle, is a precious heritage of the Church—an everlasting monument of the grace of God. For an admirable summary of the instructive lessons which it contains, see Dr Schaff’s Commentary, p. 29. Appendix II. p. 84. That the two great Apostles were at heart agreed, taught and influenced by the same Spirit, and zealous for the same truth, is shewn by the touching allusion made subsequently by Peter (2 Peter 3:15-16) to the Epistles (including this to the Galatians) of ‘our beloved brother Paul’—an allusion the more striking because the letter in which it occurs is probably addressed to Galatian converts among others.

The following is the summary referred to on ch. Galatians 2:11-21“We take the record in its natural, historical sense, and derive from it the following instructive lessons:—

1. The right and duty of protest against ecclesiastical authority, even the highest, when Christian truth and principle are endangered. The protest should be manly, yet respectful. Paul was no doubt severe, but yet he recognised Peter expressly as a ‘pillar’ of the Church and a brother in Christ (Galatians 1:18; Galatians 2:9). There was no personal bitterness and rudeness, as we find, alas, in the controversial writings of St Jerome (against Rufinus), St Bernard (against Abelard), Luther (against Erasmus and Zwingli), Bossuet (against Fénélon), and other great divines.

2. The duty to subordinate expediency to principle, the favour of man to the truth of God. Paul himself recommended and practised charity to the weak; but here a fundamental right, the freedom in Christ, was at stake, which Peter compromised by his conduct, after he himself had manfully stood up for the true principle at the Council of Jerusalem, and for the liberal practice at Antioch before the arrival of the Judaizers.

3. The moral imperfection of the Apostles. They remained even after the Pentecostal illumination frail human beings, carrying the heavenly treasure in earthen vessels, and stood in daily need of forgiveness (2 Corinthians 4:7; Php 3:12; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8; 1 John 2:2). The weakness of Peter is here recorded, as his greater sin of denying his Lord is recorded in the Gospels, both for the warning and for the comfort of believers. If the chief of the Apostles was led astray, how much more should ordinary Christians be on their guard against temptation! But if Peter found remission, we may confidently expect the same on the same condition of hearty repentance. ‘The dissension—if dissension it could be called—between the two great Apostles will shock those only who, in defiance of all Scripture, persist in regarding the Apostles as specimens of supernatural perfection.’ (Farrar, Life and Work of St Paul, i. 444.)

4. The collision does not justify any unfavourable conclusion against the inspiration of the Apostles and the infallibility of their teaching. For Paul charges his colleague with hypocrisy or dissimulation, that is, with acting against his own better conviction. We have here a fault of conduct, a temporary inconsistency, not a permanent error of doctrine. A man may know and teach the truth, and yet go astray occasionally in practice. Peter had the right view of the relation of the gospel to the Gentiles ever since the conversion of Cornelius; he openly defended it at the Apostolic Council (Acts 15:7; comp. Galatians 2:1-9), and never renounced it in theory; on the contrary, his own Epistles agree fully with those of Paul, and are in part addressed to the same Galatians with a view to confirm them in their Pauline faith; but he suffered himself to be influenced by some scrupulous and contracted Jewish Christians from Jerusalem. By trying to please one party he offended the other, and endangered for a moment the sound doctrine itself.

5. The inconsistency here rebuked quite agrees with Peter’s character as it appears in the Gospels. The same impulsiveness and inconsistency of temper, the same mixture of boldness and timidity, made him the first to confess, and the first to deny Christ, the strongest and the weakest among the Twelve. He refused that Christ should wash his feet, and then by a sudden change he wished not his feet only, but his hands and head to be washed; he cut off the ear of Malchus, and in a few minutes afterwards he forsook his Master and fled; he solemnly promised to be faithful to Him, though all should forsake Him, and yet in the same night he denied Him thrice.

6. It should be remembered, however, on the other hand, first, that the question concerning the significance of the Mosaic law, and especially of the propriety of eating meat offered to idols, was a very difficult one, and continued to be agitated in the Apostolic Church (cf. 1 Corinthians 8-10; Romans 14). The decree of the Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29), after all, stated simply the duties of the Gentile converts, strictly prohibiting them the use of meat offered to idols, but it said nothing on the duties of the Jewish Christians to the former, thus leaving some room for a milder and stricter view on the subject. We should also remember that the temptation on the occasion referred to was very great, since even Barnabas, the Gentile missionary, was overcome by it.

7. Much as we may deplore and censure the weakness of Peter and admire the boldness and consistency of Paul, the humility and meekness with which Peter, the oldest and most eminent of the twelve Apostles, seems to have borne the public rebuke of a younger colleague, are deserving of high praise. How touching is his subsequent allusion in 2 Peter 3:15-16, which is addressed to the Galatians among others, to the very Epistles of his ‘beloved brother Paul,’ in one of which his own conduct is so sharply condemned. This required a rare degree of Divine grace, which did its full work in him through much suffering and humiliation, as the humble, meek, gentle, and graceful spirit of his Epistles abundantly prove.

8. The conduct of Paul supplies a conclusive argument in favour of the equality of the Apostles and against the papal view of the supremacy of Peter. No pope would or could allow any Catholic bishop or archbishop to call him to an account and to talk to him in that style of manly independence. The conduct of Peter is also fatal to the claim of papal infallibility, as far as morals or discipline is concerned; for Peter acted here officially with all the power of his Apostolic example, and however correct in doctrine, he erred very seriously in practice, and endangered the great principle of Christian freedom, as the popes have done ever since. No wonder that the story was offensive to some of the Fathers and Roman commentators and gave rise to most unnatural explanations.

We may add that the account of the Council in Jerusalem in Acts 15 likewise contradicts the Vatican system, which would have required a reference of the great controversy on circumcision to the Apostle Peter rather than to a council under the presidency of James.

9. The Apostolic Church is typical, and foreshadows the whole course of the history of Christendom. Peter, Paul and John represent as many ages and phases of the Church. Peter is the rock of Catholicism, Paul the rock of evangelical Protestantism. Their temporary collision at Antioch anticipates the world-historical antagonism of Romanism and Protestantism, which continues to this day. It is an antagonism between legal bondage and evangelical freedom, between Judaizing conservatism and Christian progress. Let us hope also for a future reconciliation in the ideal Church of harmony and peace which is symbolized by John, the bosom friend of Christ, the seer of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Paul and Peter, as far as we know from the New Testament, never met again after this scene in Antioch. But ecclesiastical tradition reports that they were tried and condemned together in Rome, and executed on the some day (the 29th of June), Peter, the Galilæan disciple, on the hill of the Janiculum, where he was crucified; Paul, the Roman citizen, on the Ostian road at the Tre Fontane, where he was beheaded. Their martyr blood thus mingled is still a fountain of life to the Church of God.”—Abridged from Dr Schaff’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.Galatians 2:11. Ὅτε, when) The argument at last reaches its highest point. Paul reproves Peter himself, therefore he owes not his doctrine to man.—Ἀντιόχειαν, Antioch) at that time the citadel of the Gentile Church.—κατὰ πρόσωπον, to the face) comp. Galatians 2:14, before all; so the LXX., 1 Kings 1:23, twice; 1 Chronicles 28:8; Psalm 50:21; Daniel 11:16, etc. Below, κατὰ, Galatians 3:1.—ἀντέστην, I withstood [resisted]) A stern word.—κατεγνωσμένος) κατακεκριμένος, condemned, on account of contrary actions, of which the one condemned the other; see the following verse; comp. Galatians 2:18. The participle has a reciprocal meaning. For Peter had condemned himself by his own judgment, by his own practice.Verse 11. - In the narrative which the apostle next proceeds to give, several points, we may suppose, were definitely meant by him to be intimated to his readers. Thus to those Gentile Galatians who were wavering in their attachment to himself and to the gospel which he had preached to them, he shows his claim to their firm affectionate adherence, on the ground of the steadfastness with which, as before at Jerusalem so now afresh in Antioch, he had successfully asserted their rights and their equal standing with Jewish believers, when these were assailed by "certain come from James." In contrast with his own unflinching championship of their cause, were here seen vacillation and inconsistency on the part of "Cephas;" were, then, any justified in exalting those "pillars, James and Cephas," as certain were disposed to do, for the sake of disparaging him? This experience at Antioch should lead them to regard with suspicion Jewish or Philo-Judaic brethren, who were setting themselves to tamper with the truth of the gospel. Crooked conduct was sure to accompany such darkening of the truth, as on that occasion was most palpably evinced in the case of even Barnabas, and was in open encounter before the whole Church exposed and rebuked. And, especially, there was the grand principle that the Law of Moses was for the Christian believer annihilated through the crucifixion of Christ; which principle he had then held aloft in the view of the Church, and here takes occasion to enlarge upon, because it was so directly relevant and helpful in respect to the trouble now springing up in Galatia. But when Peter was come to Antioch (ὅτε δὲ η΅λθε Κηφᾶς [Receptus, Πέτρος] εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν); but when Cephas came to Antioch. The reading Κηφᾶς for Πέτρος is generally accepted. The time at which this incident took place is in a measure determined, on the one side, by its being to all appearance after the visit to Jerusalem which has been previously spoken of, and, on the other, by the reference to Barnabas in ver. 13; that is, we are naturally led to assign it to that time of Paul's, and Barnabas's united labours at Antioch which is briefly indicated in Acts 15:35. It can hardly have occurred subsequently to the rupture between them which St. Luke immediately after describes. The manner in which St. Peter's coming to Antioch is introduced seems to betoken that his coming thither was not felt to have been at all an extraordinary circumstance. It is open to us, and indeed obvious, to conjecture that the visit was made in the course of one of those journeyings of St. Peter "throughout all parts," of which another, taking place fourteen years or more previously, is mentioned in Acts 9:33. As the "apostle of the circumcision," he was, we may reasonably suppose, in the habit of traversing, in company often with his wife (1 Corinthians 9:5), the whole of those districts of Palestine which were largely inhabited by Jews, and extending as far as Antioch itself, in the exercise of apostolic supervision over the Jewish converts. Quite supposably, this was not his first visit to this city. The lengthened continuance of his stay, which may be inferred from ver. 12, is thus explained. It may be assumed that it was this exercise of apostolic superintendence that gave rise to the tradition, which gained early acceptance in the Church (Eusebius, ' Hist. Eccl.,' 3:36), that Peter was the first Bishop of Antioch. His presence there now, while St. Paul was also there, found, probably, its analogy, twelve or fourteen years later, in the simultaneous presence of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome; St.. Peter being there also, we may suppose, in the discharge of his office as apostle of the circumcision. I withstood him to the face (κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην). I seized an opportunity at a meeting of the brethren (ver. 14) of publicly confronting him as an adversary. It seems almost suggested that their spheres of work at Antioch, which was a very large city, were so far not identical that they were not commonly to be seen together. The verb ἀντέστην, "set myself to oppose him," expressing deter mined oppugnancy (2 Timothy 3:8; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9), strikes us the more, as coming so soon after the "gave us the right hands of fellowship of ver. 7. His adopting of this mode of recalling his straying brother instead of dealing with him in a more private manner, is indicated with an evidently intended pointedness. His course of proceeding was both justified and required by the public nature of St. Peter's offence, and by the necessity of promptly exposing and beating back the aggressions which Israelitish bigotry was always so ready to make upon the perfectly equal footing possessed by all believers, by virtue simply of their relation to Christ. Because he was to be blamed (ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος η΅ν); because he stood condemned. The perfect passive verb is commonly felt to point, not so much to the censures of bystanders, as to the glaring wrongness of his conduct viewed in itself (comp. John 3:18; Romans 14:23). The rendering to be blamed, correct so far as it reaches, is inadequate in expressing the sense which St. Paul had of the gravity of St. Peter's offence. It is interesting to note the clear reference to this verse made in the second century by the Ebionite author of the ' Clementine Homilies,' who (Bishop Lightfoot observes, 'Galatians,' p. 61), writing in a spirit of bitter hostility to St. Paul, who is covertly attacked in the person of Simon Magus, represents St. Peter as addressing Simon thus: "Thou hast confronted and withstood me (ἐναντίος ἀνθέστηκάς μοι). If thou hadst not been an adversary, thou wouldest not have calumniated and reviled my preaching If thou callest me condemned (κατεγνωσμένον), thou accusest God who revealed Christ to me" ('Hom.,' 17:19). Not only is this a testimony to the authenticity of.. the Epistle; it betokens also the sore feeling which this narrative of St. Paul's and the manner of its diction left behind in the minds of a certain section of Jewish Christians. To the face (κατὰ πρόσωπον)

As Acts 3:13. The meaning is expressed in the familiar phrase faced him down. It is, however, rarely as strong as this in N.T. Rather before the face, or in the face of, meaning simply in the sight or presence of (Luke 2:31), or according to appearance (2 Corinthians 1:7). The explanation that Paul withstood Peter only in appearance or semblance (so Jerome, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and other Fathers) is one of the curiosities of exegesis, and was probably adopted out of misplaced consideration for the prestige of Peter.

He was to be blamed (κατεγνωσμένος ἦν)

A.V. is wrong. Rev. correctly, he stood condemned. Not by the body of Christians at Antioch; rather his act was its own condemnation.

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