Galatians 2:2
And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(2) By revelation.—Revelations seem to have been vouchsafed to the Apostle in various ways—most frequently in dreams or nocturnal visions (Acts 16:9; Acts 18:9; Acts 23:11; Acts 27:23), but also in a state of trance (Acts 22:17), and through other undefined modes of intimation (Acts 16:6-7; Acts 20:22-23). By what particular form of revelation he was guided in this instance does not appear. It would seem that this inward spiritual guidance granted privately to the Apostle coincided with a formal commission from the Church at Antioch (Acts 15:2), which, as the external and apparent side of the transaction, is naturally related by the historian, while it is just as naturally omitted by the Apostle, whose thoughts are directed rather to his own personal conduct and motives.

Communicated unto themi.e., the Church at Jerusalem. A distinction appears to be drawn between what the Apostle said in his public intercourse with the Church and the more detailed conference or conferences into which he entered privately with the Apostles.

Which I preach.—The present tense is noticeable. The gospel which the Apostle had been preaching up to the time of the Council of Jerusalem was the same as that which he still preached at the time of his writing to the Galatians. It had undergone no change in its essential features, especially in the one doctrine which he was most anxious to impress upon the Galatians—the doctrine of justification by faith.

Privately to them which were of reputation.—Better, more simply, to them of repute. The present tense is again used, the Apostle hinting, not only at the position which the Judaic Apostles held at the time of the Council, but also at the way in which their authority was appealed to by the Judaising partisans in Galatia. There is a slight shade of irony in the expression. It is not so much “those which were of reputation” in the gathering at Jerusalem as “those who are still held to be the only authorities now.”

Who are meant by “them of repute” appears more distinctly from Galatians 2:9, where James, Peter, and John are mentioned by name.

Lest by any means.—The Apostle did not really want confidence in his own teaching. And yet he was aware that it rested solely upon his own individual conviction, and upon the interpretation that he had put upon the intimation to him of the divine will. There was, therefore, still a certain element of uncertainty and room for confirmation, which the Apostle desired to receive. His character hits the happy mean between confidence in his cause (self-confidence, or self-reliance, as it would be called if dealing with a lower sphere), without which no great mission can be accomplished, and opinionatedness or obstinacy. He, therefore, wished to “make assurance doubly sure,” and it is this confirmed and ratified certainty which animates his whole language in writing to the Galatians. Something of it, perhaps, is reflected back upon his account of the earlier stages in the process through which his opinions had gone, given in the last chapter.

I should run, or had run.—St. Paul here introduces his favourite metaphor from the foot-races, such as he might see in the Isthmian games at Corinth. (Comp. especially, for a similar reference to his own career, Philippians 2:16; 2Timothy 4:7.)

Galatians 2:2. And I went up — Not by any command from the apostles, nor to receive instructions in my work from them; but by revelation — From God, directing me to go. The apostle does not say to whom the revelation was made: it might be made to Paul himself, or to some of the prophets then residing at Antioch. But this circumstance, that he went in consequence of a revelation, shows evidently that the occasion of the journey was of great importance. It was, therefore, as has been observed above, very probably the journey which, at the desire of the church at Antioch, Paul and Barnabas undertook for the purpose of consulting the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning the circumcision of the converted proselytes, of which we have an account Acts 15., &c., where see the notes. Some indeed have been of opinion, that the journey to Jerusalem here spoken of, was posterior to that council. But as there is no evidence that Paul and Barnabas travelled together any more after they returned to Antioch from the council, but rather evidence to the contrary,

(Acts 15:39,) that opinion cannot be admitted. And communicated unto them — To the chief of the church in Jerusalem; that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles — (See Acts 15:4,) namely, touching justification by faith alone; not that they might confirm me therein, but that I might preclude or remove prejudice from them. But privately to them which were of reputation — Or to those of eminence, as the original expression here evidently signifies. He did not declare the doctrine which he preached publicly at first, but spoke severally to the apostles one by one; lest I should run, or should have run in vain — That is, Lest, being suspected to preach differently from them, I should lose the fruit either of my present or past labours. For the other apostles might have greatly hindered the success of his labours, had they not been fully satisfied both of his mission and doctrine. In using the word run, the apostle beautifully expresses the swift progress of the gospel; and in speaking of running in vain, he alludes to a race, in which the person who loses the prize is said to run in vain.

2:1-10 Observe the apostle's faithfulness in giving a full account of the doctrine he had preached among the Gentiles, and was still resolved to preach, that of Christianity, free from all mixture of Judaism. This doctrine would be ungrateful to many, yet he was not afraid to own it. His care was, lest the success of his past labours should be lessened, or his future usefulness be hindered. While we simply depend upon God for success to our labours, we should use every proper caution to remove mistakes, and against opposers. There are things which may lawfully be complied with, yet, when they cannot be done without betraying the truth, they ought to be refused. We must not give place to any conduct, whereby the truth of the gospel would be reflected upon. Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them. Perceiving the grace given to him, they gave unto him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, whereby they acknowledged that he was designed to the honour and office of an apostle as well as themselves. They agreed that these two should go to the heathen, while they continued to preach to the Jews; judging it agreeable to the mind of Christ, so to divide their work. Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God's; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this we are to praise God. The apostle showed his charitable disposition, and how ready he was to own the Jewish converts as brethren, though many would scarcely allow the like favour to the converted Gentiles; but mere difference of opinion was no reason to him why he should not help them. Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ.And I went up by revelation - Not for the purpose of receiving instruction from the apostles there in regard to the nature of the Christian religion. It is to be remembered that the design for which Paul states this is, to show that he had not received the gospel from human beings. He is careful, therefore, to state that he went up by the express command of God. He did not go up to receive instructions from the apostles there in regard to his own work, or to be confirmed by them in his apostolic office, but he went to submit an important question pertaining to the church at large. In Acts 15:2, it is said that Paul and Barnabas went up by the appointment of the church at Antioch. But there is no discrepancy between that account and this, for though he was designated by the church there, there is no improbability in supposing that he was directed by a special revelation to comply with their request. The reason why he says that he went up by direct revelation seems to be to show that he did not seek instruction from the apostles; he did not go of his own accord to consult with them as if he were dependent upon them; but even in a case when he went to advise with them he was under the influence of express and direct revelation, proving that he was commissioned by God as much as they were.

And communicated unto them that gospel ... - Made them acquainted with the doctrines which he preached among the pagans. He stated fully the principles on which he acted; the nature of the gospel which he taught; and his doctrine about the exemption of the Gentiles from the obligations of the Law of Moses. He thus satisfied them in regard to his views of the gospel; and showed them that he understood the system of Christianity which had been revealed. The result was, that they had entire confidence in him, and admitted him to entire fellowship with them; Galatians 2:9.

But privately - Margin, "Severally." Greek (κατ ̓ ἰδίαν kat' idian. The phrase means that he did it not in a public manner; not before a general assembly; not even before all the apostles collected together, but in a private manner to a few of the leaders and chief persons. He made a private explanation of his motives and views, so that they might understand it before it became a matter of public discussion. The point on which Paul made this private explanation was not whether the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles, for upon that they had no doubt after the revelation to Peter Acts 10; but whether the rites of the Jews were to be imposed on the Gentile converts. Paul explained his views and his practice on that point, which were that he did not impose those rites on the Gentiles; that he taught that people might be justified without their observance; and that they were not necessary in order to salvation. The reasons why he sought this private interview with the leading men in Jerusalem he has not stated. But we may suppose that they were something like the following:

(1) The Jews in general had very strong attachment to their own customs, and this attachment was found in a high degree among those who were converted from among them to the Christian faith. They would be strongly excited, therefore, by the doctrine that those customs were not necessary to be observed.

(2) if the matter were submitted to a general assembly of converts from Judaism, it could not fail to produce great excitement. They could not be made readily to understand the reasons why Paul acted in this manner; there would be no possibility in an excited assemblage to offer the explanations which might be desirable; and after every explanation which could be given in this manner, they might have been unable to understand all the circumstances of the case.

(3) if a few of the principal men were made to understand it, Paul felt assured that their influence would be such as to prevent any great difficulty. He therefore sought an early opportunity to lay the case before them in private, and to secure their favor; and this course contributed to the happy issue of the whole affair; see Acts 15. There was indeed much disputation when the question came to be submitted to "the apostles and elders" Acts 15:7; many of the sect of the Pharisees in that assembly maintained that it was needful to teach the Gentiles that the Law of Moses was to be kept Acts 15:5; and no one can tell what would have been the issue of that discussion among the excitable minds of the converts from Judaism had not Paul taken the precaution, as he here says, to have submitted the case in private to those who were of "reputation." and if Peter and James had not in this manner been satisfied and had not submitted the views which they did, as recorded in Acts 15:7-21, and which terminated the whole controversy.

We may just remark here that this fact furnishes an argument such as Paley has dwelt so much on in his Horae Paulinae - though he has not referred to this - of what he calls undesigned coincidences. The affair in Acts 15 and the course of the debate, looks very much as if Peter and James had had some conference with Paul in private, and had had an opportunity of understanding fully his views on the subject before the matter came before the "apostles and elders" in public, though no such private conference is there referred to by Luke. But on turning to the Epistle to the Galatians, we find in fact that he had on one occasion before seen the same Peter and James Gal 1:18-19; and that he had had a private interview with those "of reputation" on these very points, and particularly that James, Peter, and John had approved his course, and given to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship; Galatians 2:9. Thus understood, the case here referred to was one of the most consummate instances of prudence that occurred in the life of Paul; and from this case we may learn:

(1) That when a difficulty is to be settled involving great principles, and embracing a great many points, it is better to seek an opportunity of private explanation than to submit it to a general multitude or to public debate. It is not well to attempt to settle important points when the passions of a general assembly may be excited, and where prejudices are strong. It is better to do it by private explanations, when there is an opportunity coolly to ask questions and to state the facts just as they are.

(2) the importance of securing the countenance of influential men in a popular assembly; of having men in the assembly who would understand the whole case. It was morally certain that if such men as Peter and James were made to understand the case, there would be little difficulty in arriving at an amicable adjustment of the difficulty.

(3) though this passage does not refer to preaching the gospel in general, since the gospel here submitted to the men of reputation was the question referred to above, yet we may remark, that great prudence should be used in preaching; in stating truths that may excite prejudices, or when we have reason to apprehend prejudices; and that it is often best to preach the gospel to men of reputation κατ ̓ ἰδίαν kat' idian "separately," or "privately." In this way the truth can be made to bear on the conscience; it may be better adapted to the character of the individual; he may put himself less in a state of defense, and guard himself less against the proper influences of truth. And especially is this true in conversing with persons on the subject of religion. It should be if possible alone, or privately. Almost any person may be approached on the subject of religion if it is done when he is alone; when he is at leisure, and if it is done in a kind spirit. Almost anybody will become irritated if you address him personally in a general assembly, or even with his family around him. I have never in more than in one or two instances been unkindly treated when I have addressed an individual on the subject of religion if he was alone; and though a minister should never shrink from stating the truth, and should never be afraid of man, however exalted his rank, or great his talents, or vast his wealth, yet he will probably meet with most success when he discourses privately to "them which are of reputation."

To them which were of reputation - Meaning here the leading men among the apostles. Tyndale renders this, "which are counted chefe." Doddridge, "those of greatest note in the church." The Greek is, literally, "those who seem," more fully in Galatians 2:6; "who seem to be something," that is, who are persons of note, or who are distinguished.

Lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain - Lest the effects of my labors and journeys should be lost. Paul feared that if he did not take this method of laying the case before them privately, they would not understand it. Others might misrepresent him, or their prejudices might be excited, and when the case came before the assembled apostles and elders, a decision might be adopted which would go to prove that he had been entirely wrong in his views, or which would lead those whom he had taught, to believe that he was, and which would greatly hinder and embarrass him in Iris future movements. In order to prevent this, therefore, and to secure a just decision, and one which would not hinder his future usefulness, he had sought this private interview, and thus his object was gained.

2. by revelation—not from being absolutely dependent on the apostles at Jerusalem, but by independent divine "revelation." Quite consistent with his at the same time, being a deputy from the Church of Antioch, as Ac 15:2 states. He by this revelation was led to suggest the sending of the deputation. Compare the case of Peter being led by vision, and at the same time by Cornelius' messengers, to go to Cæsarea, Ac 10:1-22.

I … communicated unto them—namely, "to the apostles and elders" (Ac 15:2): to the apostles in particular (Ga 2:9).

privately—that he and the apostles at Jerusalem might decide previously on the principles to be adopted and set forward before the public council (Ac 15:1-29). It was necessary that the Jerusalem apostles should know beforehand that the Gospel Paul preached to the Gentiles was the same as theirs, and had received divine confirmation in the results it wrought on the Gentile converts. He and Barnabas related to the multitude, not the nature of the doctrine they preached (as Paul did privately to the apostles), but only the miracles vouchsafed in proof of God's sanctioning their preaching to the Gentiles (Ac 15:12).

to them … of reputation—James, Cephas, and John, and probably some of the "elders"; Ga 2:6, "those who seemed to be somewhat."

lest, &c.—"lest I should be running, or have run, in vain"; that is, that they might see that I am not running, and have not run, in vain. Paul does not himself fear lest he be running, or had run, in vain; but lest he should, if he gave them no explanation, seem so to them. His race was the swift-running proclamation of the Gospel to the Gentiles (compare "run," Margin, for "Word … have free course," 2Th 3:1). His running would have been in vain, had circumcision been necessary, since he did not require it of his converts.

And I went up by revelation; revelation signifieth God’s immediate declaration of his will to him, that he would have him take this journey; which is not at all contradicted by Luke, saying, Acts 15:2,3, that their journey was determined by the Christians at Antioch. God, to encourage Paul, had let him know it was his will he should go; and also put it into the Christians’ hearts at Antioch, to choose him to the journey. His motions from one place to another were much by revelation, or immediate order and command from God, Acts 16:9 Acts 22:18 23:11.

And communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles; he saith, he communicated, or made a report or relation of, (in which sense the word is used, Acts 25:14), that doctrine of the gospel which he had preached amongst the Gentiles; he, doubtless, more particularly means, the abolition of circumcision, and no necessity of the observance of the law of Moses contained in ordinances.

But privately to them which were of reputation; but he saith that he did it privately, and to men of reputation; by which he meaneth the apostles, or some other Christians of greatest eminency.

Lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain; lest he should have prejudiced himself, as to the course of the gospel, which he metaphorically compareth to a race: see 1 Corinthians 9:26.

Objection. If any ask how this influenced Paul, so as to make him privately to communicate the doctrine which he had amongst the Gentiles preached publicly? It is easily answered:

1. That the consent of those who were apostles before him to the doctrine which he preached, was of great moment to persuade all Christians to embrace it; and by this means he obviated the scandal of being singular in the doctrine which he preached.

2. Besides that Paul was now at Jerusalem, which was the chief place of the Jews’ residence, to whom God indulged a greater liberty for the ceremonial usages, than to the churches of the Gentiles, wlto had not been educated in that religion. And had Paul openly there declared the liberty of Christians from circumcision, and the ceremonial usages, he had both enraged those who as yet continued in the Jewish religion, and possibly given no small offence to those who had been educated in that religion, though they were converted to the faith of the gospel, they not fully yet understanding the liberty of Christians from that yoke. By one or both of which ways, had Paul openly at Jerusalem published the doctrine which he had publicly preached in Damascus and Arabia, and other places of the Gentiles, his labours might have been rendered useless, and he might also have been less successful in his further course of preaching it.

And I went up by revelation,.... He was not sent for by the apostles at Jerusalem, nor did he go of himself, nor only by the vote of the church at Antioch, but by a divine revelation; not a revelation made to the church, or by the prophets there, but by God himself to him; he had a secret impulse from the Spirit of God, and a private intimation given him, that it was the will of God he should go up at this time; which is no ways inconsistent with his being sent by the church, but served as a confirmation to him, that what they determined was right, and according to the mind of God:

and communicated unto them that Gospel, which I preach among the Gentiles; that self-same Gospel, which he had preached, and still continued to preach to the Gentiles; relating to free and full remission of sin by the blood of Christ, justification by his righteousness without the works of the law, and freedom from all the rituals and bondage of the Mosaic dispensation: for as the Gospel he preached was all of a piece, uniform and consistent, so he did not preach one sort of doctrine to the Gentiles, and another to the Jews; but the very self-same truths which were the subject of his ministry in the Gentile world, which were a crucified Christ, and salvation alone by him, these he communicated, laid before, and exposed unto the consideration of the elders and apostles at Jerusalem; not with a view either to give or receive instructions, but to compare their sentiments and principles together; that so it might appear that there, was an entire harmony and agreement between them; and this he did not publicly, to the whole church, at least at first, and especially the article of Christian liberty, which respects the freedom of the believing Jews, from the yoke of the law; for as yet they were not able to bear this doctrine; they could pretty readily agree that the Gentiles were not obliged to it, but could not think themselves free from it; wherefore the apostle, in great prudence, did not avouch this in the public audience:

but privately to them which were of reputation; or "who seemed to be", i.e. somewhat, very considerable persons; not in their own opinion, or appearance only, but in reality, they seemed to be, and were pillars in the house of God; particularly he means James, Cephas, and John, then in great esteem with the saints, and deservedly honoured and respected by them, they being faithful labourers in the word and doctrine; so the Jewish doctors (a) call men of great esteem, who "seem to be", or "are accounted of", a word to which the phrase here used answers: these were spiritual men, capable of judging of all spiritual things; men of full age, whose senses were exercised to discern between truth and error; and were very proper persons for the apostle to lay the scheme of his ministry before, and the various truths he insisted on in it: these he met "privately", or "separately", and "singly", as it may be rendered; he either conversed with the apostles alone, and all together, in some private house; or separately, one by one, in their own houses, and there freely and familiarly discoursed with them about the several doctrines of the Gospel; and particularly this, of freedom from the law: his end in it was, as he says,

lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain: which is said, not with regard to himself, as if he had entertained any doubt of the doctrines he had preached, and needed any confirmation in them from them; for he was fully assured of the truth of them, and assured others of the same; or that he questioned the agreement of the apostles with him; or that his faith at all depended on their authority; but with regard to others, and his usefulness among them. The false teachers had insinuated that his doctrine was different from that of the apostles in Jerusalem, and so endeavoured to pervert the Gospel he preached, and overthrow the faith of those that heard him; and could this have been made to appear, it would in all likelihood have rendered, in a great measure, his past labours in vain, and have prevented his future usefulness: some read these words as an interrogation, "do I in any manner run, or have I run in vain?" no; from the account he laid before the church, the elders, and apostles, both in private and in public, Acts 15:4 it clearly appeared what success attended his ministry, how many seals he had of it, what numbers of souls were converted under it, and how many churches were planted by his means; for by "running" here is not meant the Christian course he ran, in common with other believers, which lies in the exercise of grace, and the discharge of duty; but the course of his ministry, which he performed with great activity, application, diligence, and constancy, until he had finished it.

(a) Vid. Sol. Ben Melech in Psal. xl 17.

And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, {a} in vain.

(a) Unfruitful, for as touching his doctrine, Paul does not doubt it, but because there were certain reports being spread about him, that he was of another opinion than the rest of the apostles were, which thing might have hindered the course of the Gospel. Therefore he labours to remedy this dangerous situation.

Galatians 2:2. Δέ] continuing the narrative, with emphatic repetition of the same word, as in Romans 3:22; 1 Corinthians 2:6; Php 2:8, et al. Klotz, ad Devar. p. 361; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 97.

κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν] in conformity with a revelation received. What an essential element for determining the bearing of the whole narrative! Hence ἀνέβ. δὲ κ. ἀπ. is not parenthetical (Matthias). But what kind of ἀποκάλυψις it was—whether it was imparted to the apostle by means of an ecstasy (Acts 22:17; 2 Corinthians 12:1 ff.), or of a nocturnal appearance (Acts 16:9; Acts 18:19; Acts 23:11; Acts 27:23), or generally by a prophetic vision (so Ewald), or by a communication from the Spirit (Acts 16:6-7; Acts 20:22-23), or in some other mode—remains uncertain. According to Acts 15:2, he was deputed by the church of Antioch to Jerusalem; but with this statement our κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν does not conflict (as Baur and Zeller maintain): it simply specifies a circumstance having reference to Paul himself individually, that had occurred either before or after that resolution of the church, and was probably quite unknown to Luke. Luke narrates the outward cause, Paul the inward motive of the concurrent divine suggestion, which led to this his journey; the two accounts together give us its historical connection completely. Comp. Acts 10, in which also a revelation and the messengers of Cornelius combine in determining Peter to go to Caesarea. The state of the case would have to be conceived as similar, even if our journey were considered identical with that related Acts 11, 12., in which case κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν would apply not—possibly—to the prophesying of Agabus, but likewise to a divine revelation imparted to Paul himself. Hermann (de P. ep. ad Gal. trib. prim. capp. Lips. 1832, also in his Opusc. V. p. 118 ff.), as before him Schrader, and after him Dav. Schulz (de aliquot N.T. locor. lectione et interpr. 1833), have explained it: “explicationis causa, i.e. ut patefieret inter ipsos, quae vera esset Jesu doctrina.” No doubt κατά might express this relation: comp. Wesseling, ad Herod. ii. 151; Matthiae, p. 1359; Winer, p. 376 [E. T. 502]. But, on the one hand, the account of Acts as to the occasion of our journey does not at all require any explaining away of the revelation (see above); and, on the other hand, it would by no means be necessary, as Hermann considers that on our interpretation it would, that κατὰ τινα ἀποκάλυψιν should have been written, since Paul’s object is not to indicate some sort of revelation which was not to be more precisely defined by him, but to express the qualifying circumstance that he had gone up not of his own impulse, but at the divine command, not ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ, but κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν, conformably to revelation. Moreover, it is the only meaning consonant with the aim of the apostle, who from the beginning of the epistle has constantly in view his apostolic dignity, that here also, as in Galatians 1:12; Galatians 1:6, ἀποκάλ. should express a divine revelation (comp. Ephesians 3:3), as in fact the word is constantly used in the N.T. in this higher sense: comp. Galatians 1:12.

ἀνεθέμην] I laid before them, for cognisance and examination. Comp. Acts 25:14; 2Ma 3:9, and Grimm thereon. Among Greek authors, in Plutarch, Polyb., Diog. L., etc.

αὐτοῖς] that is, the Christians at Jerusalem, according to the well-known use of the pronoun for the inhabitants of a previously named city or province; Bernhardy, p. 288; Winer, p. 587 [E. T. 788]. The restriction of the reference to the apostles (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Calvin, Koppe, Schott, Olshausen, and others), who are of course not excluded, is, after εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα, even still more arbitrary[54] than the view which confines it to the presbyterium of the church (Winer, Matthies). Reuss also (in the Revue théol. 1859, p. 62 ff.) wrongly denies the consultation of the church.

τὸ εὐαγγ. ὃ κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθν.] The main doctrine of which is that of justification by faith. Chrysostom aptly remarks, τὸ χωρὶς περιτομῆς. The present tense denotes the identity which was still continuing at the time the epistle was written (comp. Galatians 1:16); ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι does not, however, mean among the nations (Usteri), but that it was his gospel to the Gentiles which Paul laid before the mother-church of Jewish Christianity. Comp. Romans 11:13.

κατʼ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς δοκοῦσι] sc. ἀνεθέμην τὸ εὐαγγ. ὃ κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθν. But apart, that is, in one or more separate conferences, to those of repute. On κατʼ ἰδίαν, comp. Matthew 17:19; Mark 4:34; Mark 9:28; Valckenaer, ad Eur. Phoen. p. 439. It is, like the ἰδίᾳ more usual in the classical authors (Thuc. i. 132. 2, ii. 44. 2; Xen. Mem. iii. 7. 4, Anab. v. 7. 13, vi. 2. 13; Ast, Lex. Plat. II. p. 88), the contrast to κοινῇ or ΔΗΜΟΣΊᾼ (comp. 1Ma 4:5). ΤΟῖς ΔΟΚΟῦΣΙ singles out the aestumatos from the body of Christians at Jerusalem. This, however, is not meant to apply to the esteemed members of the church generally (comp. ἄνδρας ἡγουμένους ἐν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς, Acts 15:22), but (see on Galatians 2:9) to James the brother of Christ, Peter, and John. The other apostles who were still alive appear already to have ceased from personal connection with the church at Jerusalem. Galatians 2:6-7; Galatians 2:9 show, that it is not the anti-Pauline partisan adherents of those three who are referred to (Grotius); and, indeed, it would have been entirely opposed to his apostolic character to lay his gospel specially before the δοκοῦσι in this sense. Moreover, the designation of the three apostles as οἱ δοκοῦντες is not “an ironical side-glance” (Schwegler, I. p. 120), nor has it proceeded from the irritation of a bitter feeling against those who had habitually applied this expression to these apostles (Cameron, Rückert, Schott, comp. Olshausen); but it is used in a purely historical sense: for an ironical designation at this point, when Paul is about to relate his recognition on the part of the earlier apostles, would be utterly devoid of tact, and would not be at all consonant either to the point of view of a colleague, which he constantly maintains in respect to the other apostles, or to the humility with which he regards this collegiate relation (1 Corinthians 15:8 ff.). He has, however, purposely chosen this expression (“the authorities”), because the very matter at stake was his recognition. Homberg, Paulus, and Matthies wrongly assert that τοῖς δοκοῦσι means putantibus, and that the sequel belongs to it, “qui putabant, num forte in vanum currerem.” Galatians 2:5-6; Galatians 2:9 testify against this interpretation; and the introduction of φοβεῖσθαι into the notion of ΔΟΚΕῖΝ is arbitrary, and cannot be supported by such passages as Hom. Il. x. 97, 101 (see, on the contrary, Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 138 f.). Besides, it would have been inconsistent with apostolic dignity to give such a private account to those who were suspicious. In classical authors also οἱ δοκοῦντες, without anything added to define it, means those of repute, who are much esteemed, nobiles. See Eur. Hec. 295, and thereon Schaefer and Pflugk; Porphyr. de abstin. ii. 40, et al.; Kypke, II. p. 274; Dissen, ad Pind. Ol. xii. 56. Comp. also Clem. Cor. I. 57. Just so the Hebrew חָשַׁב. See Gesenius, Thes. I. p. 531; Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 839 f. Comp. ΔΌΚΙΜΟΙ, Plat. Pol. x. p. 618 A; Herod. i. 65; Blomfield, Gloss. in Aesch. Pers. p. 109.

But why did Paul submit his gospel not merely to the Christians in Jerusalem generally, but also specially to the three apostles? By both means he desired to remove every suspicion which might anywhere exist in the minds of others (comp. Chrysostom), that he was labouring or had laboured in vain; but how easy it is to understand that, for this purpose, he had to address to the apostles a more thorough and comprehensive statement, and to bring forward proofs, experiences, explanations, deeper dialectic deductions, etc.,[55] which would have been unsuitable for the general body of Christians, among whom nothing but the simple and popular exposition was appropriate! Therefore Paul dealt with his colleagues ΚΑΤʼ ἸΔΊΑΝ. But we must not draw a distinction as to matter between the public and the private discussion, as Estius and others have done: “publice ita contulit, ut ostenderet gentes non debere circumcidi et servare legem Mosis … privato autem et secreto colloquio cum apostolis habito placuit ipsos quoque Judaeos ab observantia Mosaicae legis … esse liberandos,” etc. In this way Paul would have set forth only the half of his gospel to the mass of the Christians there; and yet this half-measure, otherwise so opposed to his character, would not have satisfied the Jewish-Christian exclusiveness. Thiersch also (Kirche im apost. Zeitalt. p. 128) wrongly holds (comp. Lange, apost. Zeitalt. p. 100) that the subject of the private discussion was Paul’s apostolic dignity; it was nothing else than τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κ.τ.λ. and only in so far his apostolic legitimacy. The object of the private discussion was, in Winer’s opinion: “ut ne, si his (the δοκοῦσι) videretur P. castigandus, publica expostulatione ipsius auctoritas infringeretur.” But this also is not in accordance with the decided character of Paul; and if he had dreaded a public expostulation, he would not have ventured first to set forth his gospel publicly, because the apostles, in the event of disapproval, would not have been able to withhold public contradiction. The view that the private discussion with the δοκοῦσι preceded the general discussion with the church (so Neander, p. 277; Lekebusch, Apostelgesch. p. 295), runs counter to the account of our passage, which represents the course of events as the converse.

μήπως εἰς κενὸν τρέχω ἢ ἔδραμον] Taken by itself, ΜΉΠΩς may signify either lest possibly, ne forte, and thus express directly the design of the ἀνεθέμην (so, following the Vulgate and the Greek Fathers, Erasmus, Luther, and most expositors, including Winer, Fritzsche, Rückert, Schott), or whether … not possibly, num forte (Usteri, Hilgenfeld, Hofmann, Wieseler), thus indirectly interrogative. The former interpretation is decidedly to be rejected, because the indicative aorist ἔδραμον does not suit it; for, according to the Greek use of the particles of design with the indicative aorist or imperfect (see on Galatians 4:17), the ἈΝΕΘΈΜΗΝ would not actually have taken place; and besides this, we should have to assume—without any ground for doing so in the context—that ΤΡΈΧΩ and ἜΔΡΑΜΟΝ are said ex aliorum judicio,[56] and that τρέχω is subjunctive, although by its connection with ἜΔΡΑΜΟΝ it evidently proclaims itself indicative. Hence ΜΉΠΩς must be rendered Numbers forte, and the reference of the num is supplied by the idea, “for consideration, for examination,” included in ἀνεθέμην (Hartung, Partikell. II. pp. 137, 140). The passage is therefore to be explained: “I laid before them my gospel to the Gentiles, with a view to their instituting an investigation of the question whether I am not possibly running or have run in vain.” The apostle himself, on his own part, was in no uncertainty about this question, for he had obtained his gospel from revelation, and had already such rich experience to support him, that he certainly did not fear the downfall of his previous ministry (Holsten[57]); hence μήπως is by no means to be understood, with Usteri and Hilgenfeld, also Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 303, and Holsten, as implying any uncertainty or apprehension of his own (in order to see, in order to be certain, whether). But he wanted to obtain the judgment and declaration of the church and the apostles (so, correctly, Wieseler); comp. Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 44 f., who, however, heil. Schr. N.T. I. p. 86, supplies only ἀνεθέμην (without τὸ εὐαγγ. κ.τ.λ.) after Τ. ΔΟΚΟῦΣΙ, thus making ΜΉΠΩς Κ.Τ.Λ. the matter itself laid before them; but this would be at variance with the essential idea of laying before them the gospel, of which Paul is speaking, for he does not repeat ἀνεθέμην, and that alone. According to Hofmann, the state of the case would amount to this, that Paul desired to have the answer to the question μήπως κ.τ.λ. from the ΔΟΚΟῦΣΙ only, and not also from the church,—a view which would neither harmonize with the position of the latter (comp. Acts 15:22 f.), nor would leave apparent in the text any object for his submitting his gospel to the church at all. Observe, moreover, that the apostle does not say εἴπως (whether possibly); but, with the delicate tact of one who modestly and confidently submits himself to the judgment of the church and the apostles, while hostile doubts as to the salutary character of his labours are by no means unknown to him, he writes μήπως, whether … not possibly (Galatians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), that is, in the positive sense, whether perhaps.[58] In no case has the apostle in μήπως κ.τ.λ. expressed the intention of procuring for himself a conviction of the correctness of his teaching.[59]

ΕἸς ΚΕΝΌΝ] in cassum. See Jacobs ad Anthol. VII. p. 328. Comp. the passages from Josephus in Kypke; from the LXX., Isaiah 65:23 et al.; from the N.T., 2 Corinthians 6:1, Php 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 3:5. Comp. also the use of εἰς κοινόν, ΕἸς ΚΑΙΡΌΝ, ΕἸς ΚΑΛΌΝ, and the like, in Bernhardy, p. 221. Paul conceives his running as vain, that is, not attaining the saving result aimed at,[60] if his gospel is not the right and true one.

τρέχω] a figurative expression, derived from the running in the stadium, for earnestly striving activity—in this case, official activity, as in Php 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:7; in other passages, Christian activity in general, as Galatians 2:2. κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν. This statement of Paul’s motive is in no way inconsistent with the independent statement in the Acts that he was deputed by the Church. The revelation may have come to Paul himself, and in that case he prompted the decision of the Church, of which he and Barnabas were at that time the ruling spirits; or it may have been made through the Spirit to the Church, in which case Paul would count it right at once to obey his voice.—ἀνεθέμην … Two different methods of action are here specified, public addresses describing the nature and result of the Apostle’s preaching among the Greeks, and private interviews with individual brethren or groups of brethren. The term κατʼ ἰδίαν does not imply secrecy in these communications. The context shows that the point at issue was the circumcision of Gentile converts.—τοῖς δοκοῦσιν. As this phrase recurs four times in eight verses, it is necessary to determine its true meaning with some precision. δοκεῖν nowhere else conveys the idea of superiority implied in our versions, of reputation (of repute R.V.). The two passages adduced in its support do not stand the test of criticism: in Eur., Heracl., 897 there is an obvious ellipsis of εὐτυχεῖν, in Hec., 295 of δόξαν ἔχειν. In the latter indeed δοκούντων appears to be a cynical comment of the deposed queen on the unreality of outward glory.

In fact δοκεῖν, like seem in English, was either a neutral term which expressed according to the context any impression, good or bad, produced by the appearance of an object, or it laid stress on the unreality of the mere outward semblance. The Greeks dwelt often on the contrast between δοκεῖν and εἶναι embodied in the famous line of Æschylus οὐ γὰρ δοκεῖν δίκαιος ἀλλʼ εἶναι θέλει. In Galatians 2:6 this contrast reappears in the antithesis between δοκοῦντες εἶναι and ποτε ἦσαν. In Galatians 2:9, on the contrary, οἱ δοκοῦντες, coupled as it is there with στύλοι εἶναι, denotes the high estimate formed of the Three. The elliptical phrase ἀνεθέμην τοῖς δοκοῦσιν in Galatians 2:2 should in like manner be interpreted by the context. I take it to mean ἀνεθέμην οἷς ἐδόκει δεῖν ἀναθέσθαι. Paul, as he states, brought the matter in private interviews before those whom it seemed right to approach in that way, sc., influential opponents, whose hostility he was anxious to deprecate.—μή πως … It was of vital moment to the welfare of the Greek Churches at that time to avoid a breach with Jerusalem. Besides embracing a minority of Jewish Christians, they were leavened through and through with Jewish influences, so that a quarrel might have led to a disastrous schism in all the existing Churches. More than this, they relied still mainly on the Old Testament for the basis of their theology and morals. The abundant promise of harvest among the Greeks rested still on the nucleus of devout Gentiles who had been prepared by the teaching of the synagogue for the lessons of Christ’s Apostles. τρέχωἔδραμον. The present subjunctive is coupled here with the aorist indicative, as it is in 1 Thessalonians 3:5, to express the fear of present failure, coupled with a dread that past labours had been rendered futile.

2. by revelation] In the Acts no mention is made of this divine intimation. It would seem to have been concurrent with the external commission from the Church. The account of this visit is not contradictory to, or even inconsistent with St Luke’s narrative in Acts 15. They supplement one another. “The account of the Acts is fuller; that of the Galatians only brings out the chief points. Luke, in keeping with the documentary character of the Acts, gives us the public transactions of the Council at Jerusalem; Paul taking a knowledge of these for granted, shortly alludes to his private conference and agreement with the Apostles. Both together give us a complete history of that remarkable convention”. Schaff.

The phrase ‘by revelation’ is used by St Paul (Ephesians 3:3) of the means by which the will and purpose of God in the Gospel were communicated to him. How this revelation is effected we know not. It consists in the temporary uplifting of the veil which hides “the things not seen”, and always implies the sure conviction of its reality and Divine origin on the part of the recipient. Comp. Galatians 1:12.

communicated] not as a would-be disciple, but as one on a footing of equality.

to them] i.e. the Church at Jerusalem.

that Gospel which I preach] St Paul was still preaching the same Gospel among the Gentiles. It was the same in principle and substance, however varying in its application to the diverse characters and circumstances of those to whom it came.

privately] Privately, not secretly. There is here no hint of any suppression of the truth. The object of this private consultation was to prepare for the public conference, and was alike an act of respectful courtesy towards the officers of the Church, and a wise precaution to ensure orderly proceedings at the Council.

to them which were of reputation] Better, ‘to those of high reputation’, the leaders, pillars of the Church. The same expression occurs with slight additions Galatians 2:6; Galatians 2:9.

lest … in vain] It was very important that there should be unanimity at the Council. If at the first synod of the Church, it should appear that St Paul was preaching a different Gospel among the Gentiles from that which was taught by the Apostles in Judæa, the result could not fail to be distrust of the former (so prone are men to test truth by the numbers and position of its advocates), and thus the success of his labours would be impaired.

Most commentators suppose the Apostle to fear lest his work for the future should be hindered, and that in the past undone. The construction of the original is peculiar and difficult. The particle rendered ‘or’, may mean ‘than’ or ‘more than’. And so the sense would be, ‘Lest I should run less successfully than heretofore’. The metaphor of a ‘race’ as descriptive of a course of life or of labour is a familiar one with St Paul. Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7.

Galatians 2:2. Κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν, by revelation) As Paul had revelations he had no need to learn from men. This revelation had been communicated to him for an important reason.—ἀνεθέμην) set before them [communicated], as equals are wont to do, not that they should confirm me, but that they should confirm others, Acts 15:2.—αὐτοῖς, to them) at Jerusalem. This is treated of Galatians 2:3-4.—κατʼ ἰδίαν) apart, privately) all were not capable of comprehending it.—τοῖς δοκοῦσι, who were held in reputation) In antithesis to Paul, who was less acknowledged. [The apostles are principally intended, Galatians 2:9.—V. g.] comp. 2 Corinthians 11:5. Hesychius; δοκοῦντες, οἱ ἔνδοξοι. This is brought under consideration, Galatians 2:6-7.—μήπως, lest by any means) this word depends on ἀνεθέμην, I set forth [communicated]. I should run, says he, or had run in vain, if circumcision had been judged necessary.—τρέχω, I should run) with the swift victory of the Gospel.

Verse 2. - And I went up by revelation; or, and I went up in accordance with a revela-lion (ἀνέβην δὲ κατὰ ἀποκάλυτιν). The form of sentence in the Greek is similar to that(e.g.) in John 21:1; Romans 3:22; James 1:6: a word of the preceding context is taken up afresh for the purpose of being qualified or explained. Revelations were frequently made to the apostle, both to communicate important truths (Ephesians 3:3) and to direct or encourage his proceedings. They appear to have been made in different ways: as, through dreams or visions (Acts 16:9, 10; Acts 18:9; Acts 22:18-21; Acts 27:23); through prophets (Acts 13:2; Acts 21:11); often, no doubt, through a strong impulse borne in upon his spirit, prompting him to, or debarring him from, some particular line of conduct (Acts 16:6, 7). The journey now in question being that recorded by St. Luke (Acts 15, init.), we have to observe that St. Luke ascribes his going to a decision come to by the brethren at Antioch (Acts 15:2). But there is no discrepancy here. It is an obvious supposition, that the apostle, taking into consideration, perhaps, the prejudice entertained against him at Jerusalem, not only, as Christ had himself intimated to him, by the unbelieving Jews (Acts 22:18), but, as James later on confessed, by even the members of the Church itself (Acts 21:21; comp. on both points, Romans 16:31), felt at first some hesitation in accepting the commission; was he by going likely to forward their views? - but that his hesitation was overruled by Christ himself, who in some way revealed to him that it was his will that he should go. Similarly, when visiting Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion, his hasty departure from the city is attributed by St. Luke to the care of the disciples for his safety (Acts 9:25); whereas St. Paul, in his speech from the stairs, ascribes it to a" trance," in which the Lord appearing to him bade him to depart thence without delay (Acts 22:17, 21) The two accounts in each instance are mutually supplementary, the one viewing the case historically from the outside, the other as an autobiographical reminiscence from within. The apostle's reason for thus pointedly mentioning the especial direction under which he took this journey, had evidently reference to its being the design of Christ, that thereby, together with other objects to be subserved by it, the doctrine and ministerial work of Paul should be sealed with the recognition of his first apostles and of his earliest Church - a result of prime necessity for the prosperous development of the whole Church; more important, perhaps, than even its more ostensible result as described by St. Luke. And communicated unto them (καὶ ἀνεθέμην αὐτοῖς); and I laid before them. The verb occurs in the New Testament besides only in Acts 25:14, where it means simply giving the king an account of Paul's case with the view apparently of getting his opinion upon it. In the present case St. Paul stated his doctrine to the persons referred to, with the view likewise of seeing what they would say; but certainly not with any intention of having it modified by their suggestions (cf. the use of ἀνέθετο in 2 Macc. 3:9, which presents a curiously similar conjunction of particulars). By them, i.e. those there, are obviously meant, not the inhabitants in general, but the Christians of the place, though not immediately before mentioned. We have the like use of the pronoun in Acts 20:2; 2 Corinthians 2:13. That gospel which I preach (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ο{ κηρύσσω). The present tense of the verb points to the whole period of his ministry up to the time at which he was writing. It is implied that his teaching had been the same all along. Elsewhere he styles it "my gospel" (Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8). Among the Gentiles (ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι); alluding to the complexion of his doctrine as bearing upon the acceptance of Gentiles before God simply upon their faith in Christ (cf. Ephesians 3:1, 6, 8). But privately (κατ ἰδίαν δέ). The phrase, κατ ἰδίαν, occurs sixteen times besides in the New Testament, always in the sense of privately, apart (cf. e.g. Mark 4:34; Mark 6:31, 32; Mark 7:33; Mark 9:2, 28). To them which were of reputation (τοῖς δοκοῦσι); them who were of repute; men eminent in repute and position. The phrase, οἱ δοκοῦντες, was used in this sense both in classical Greek and in the later "common dialect" (Eurip., 'Hec.,' 294; 'Heracl.,' 897; 'Tread.,' 617; 'Herodian,' 6:1). There is no reason to suppose that there is any tone of disparagement in the phrase, as if the persons spoken of "seemed" to be more than they really were. The apostle repeats this participle thrice in the following context - once (ver. 6), as here, absolutely; and twice (vers. 6, 9) with an infinitive. This harping upon δοκοῦντες suggests a surmise that St. Paul's gainsayers in Galatia had been fond of using the expression to designate the persons referred to in disparagement of himself as a man comparatively of no mark. Compare the almost mocking reiteration of "superlatively chief apostles," in 2 Corinthians 11:5 and 12. l 1, referring to "pseudo-apostles." In order to determine who were the persons the apostle thus distinguishes, we naturally refer to St. Luke's account of the circumstances. St. Luke, then, seems to speak of three several meetings held on this occasion. The first (in ver. 4) when Paul and Barnabas with their fellow-deputies, were "received by the Church and the apostles and the elders;" when "they [Paul and Barnabas] declared what great things God had done in co-operation with them." It cannot have been then that St. Paul gave this exposition of his gospel. But certain of the Pharisees who had joined the Church began loudly to insist upon the necessity of Gentile converts being circumcised and conforming to the Law. Whether it was at this first meeting itself that this took place, or subsequently, at all events "the apostles and the elders" judged it to be undesirable that the matter should be further discussed in so large an assemblage of the circumcision, before, in the calmer atmosphere of a private conference, they had themselves considered what course it would be best to adopt. Accordingly, St. Luke tells us (ver. 6), "the apostles and the elders came together to see about this matter." "After much discussion had taken place," which upon a question so closely touching the Jew's national sensibilities must even in this more select body have been fraught with no ordinary excitement, the rising passions of controversy were stilled by Peter; he recalled the story of Cornelius, and founding thereupon, he warned his hearers, that by imposing, as many perhaps even of those then present were wishful to do, the intolerable yoke of Mosaism upon the neck of the Gentile disciples, they ran the risk of contravening and provoking God; for after all (he significantly reminded them), their own hope of salvation, as well as the hope of Gentile believers, was that they would be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus. Thereupon the "whole company" (πλῆθος, in ver. 12, is used by St. Luke in the same way as in his Gospel (Luke 23:1) when speaking of the Sanhedrin; the eldership of the very large Church of Jerusalem must of itself, without the doubtful addition of elders from Judaean towns, have formed a considerable body) listened with hushed and respectful attention to Paul and Barnabas, while they gave a detailed account of what great signs and wonders God had wrought amongst the Gentiles through them. After this, upon James's proposition, "the apostles and the elders" came to the resolution that, in conjunction with the whole Church, they would choose and depute certain members of their community to convey to the Gentile brethren a certain letter, which very probably (cf. as to diction, vers. 17, 23, with James 2:7; James 1:1) James himself, as presiding in their meeting, with the concurrence of the apostles and the elders, drew up. The words," with the whole Church," coming in here for the first time since ver. 4, indicate a third meeting, in which the general body of believers was prevailed upon to concur in the measures before agreed upon in the second more private meeting. According to the more approved reading of ver. 23 (omitting the καὶ before ἀδελφοί), the letter issues from "the apostles and the elder brethren" alone, as these also were the persons with whom (ver. 2) the deputation from Antioch had been sent to confer. Now, upon the review of all the circumstances as now stated, the second of these three meetings would seem to have presented just such an opportunity as would suit the design which St. Paul had frowned, of expounding his teaching to the leading spirits in Jerusalem. When he and Barnabas were relating those signs and wonders by which the seal of Divine sanction had been put upon their ministry among the Gentiles, it was natural that Paul, here no doubt, as generally "the chief speaker," should tell their hearers with the utmost distinctness what that teaching was which Heaven had thus ratified; most especially that part of it which was so directly relevant to the practical question which was then in debate, and which is so emphatically set forth in the Epistles to the Galatians and the Romans - to wit, that all who believe in Christ are justified and have full peace and sonship with God without any works of Mosaical ceremonialism. This was precisely "the gospel" which here (ver. 2) he speaks of as "preached by him among the Gentiles" "The apostles and the elders" answer perfectly to the description of οἱ δοκοῦντες. For there is no reason for supposing that the οἱ δοκοῦντες of vers. 2 and 6, or the οἱ δοκοῦντες εϊναί τι of ver. 6, represent exactly the same persons as the οἱ δοκοῦντες στύλοι εϊναι of ver. 9. These last are to be conceived of rather as representative of those larger bodies of men recited in the former three references - "James" representing the elders (for the present writer makes no question but that this James "the Lord's brother" was the presiding officer or Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem, and not one of the twelve apostles), and "Cephas and John" representing the twelve, who may be believed to have been all of them at Jerusalem at this time, though these two, certainly the leading ones, are the only ones whose names there happened to be occasion for specifying. Lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain (μή πως εἰς κενὸν τρέχω η} ἔδραμον). The comparison of 1 Thessalonians 3:5 ἐπείρασεν ὑμᾶς ὁ πειρὰζων καὶ εἰς κενὸν γένηται ὁ κόπος ἡμῶν) shows that τρέχω ισ the subjunctive. The present tense, lest I should be running, points to the time of which he is writing and the time onward therefrom. In classical Greek it would have been τρέχοιμι. The use of the verb τρέχω, "run," "rush on," a favourite word with the apostle, well characterizes the zealous forward, speeding manner of his activity. "In vain;" to an empty result; for no good. He intimates that there had been a danger lest the fruits of his earnest work among the Gentiles, might through some cause get wrecked. That this is what he means is clear from 1 Thessalonians 3:5 just cited; and not that there had been any fear lest he might himself have been somehow mistaking his way; most especially, not lest he had been at all mistaken in the doctrine which he taught, a thing which he does not for one moment imagine. His work would have been in danger of being spoilt if the Gentile Churches as planted by himself had been disowned or discountenanced by the mother Church, or if they had got split up into factious parties by the intervention, e.g. of persons coming "from James," telling them that they were not in a state of salvation. To guard against this danger, he was led by Christ himself to seek a formal recognition of his doctrine by the apostles and the elders of the Jerusalemite Church, and through them by that Church itself. As the rank-and-file of the Jewish believers at Jerusalem were even bigotedly attached to the Mosaic Law, and also regarded St. Paul himself with great suspicion, he might very easily have failed of gaining the recognition he required, if he had at once brought the matter before the general body. If their spiritual leaders had not first come forward in the cause of truth, it was but too probable that some fanatical Mosaists would have gained the ear of the multitude, and hurried them away in a course of headlong opposition to Paul and his teaching, from which it might have been very difficult afterwards to recall them. Galatians 2:2By revelation (κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν)

It was specially and divinely revealed to me that I should go. In what way, he does not state.

Communicated (ἀνεθέμην)

Only here and Acts 25:14. Ἀνά up, τιθέναι to set. To set up a thing for the consideration of others: to lay it before them.

Unto them (αὐτοῖς)

The Christians of Jerusalem generally.

Privately (κατ' ἰδίαν)

The general communication to the Jerusalem Christians was accompanied by a private consultation with the leaders. Not that a different subject was discussed in private, but that the discussion was deeper and more detailed than would have befitted the whole body of Christians.

To them which were of reputation (τοῖς δοκοῦσιν)

Lit. to those who seem; are reputed. Men of recognized position, James, Cephas, John. Not his adversaries who were adherents of these three. It is not to be supposed that he would submit his gospel to such. The expression is therefore not used ironically. Paul recognizes the honorable position of the three and their rightful claim to respect. The repetition of the phrase (Galatians 2:6, Galatians 2:9) may point to a favorite expression of his opponents in commending these leaders to Paul as models for his preaching; hardly (as Lightfoot) to the contrast between the estimation in which they were held and the actual services which they rendered to him. He chooses this expression because the matter at stake was his recognition by the earlier apostles, and any ironical designation would be out of place.

Lest by any means I should run or had run in vain

Better, should be running. Comp. Philippians 2:16. This is sometimes explained as implying a misgiving on Paul's part as to the soundness of his own teaching, which he desired to have set at rest by the decision of the principal apostles. On this explanation μή πως will be rendered lest in some way or other. But such a misgiving is contrary to Paul's habitual attitude of settled conviction respecting that gospel which he had received by revelation, and in the preaching of which he had been confirmed by experience. In consulting the Christians at Jerusalem Paul had principally in view the formal indorsement of his work by the church and its leaders. Their formal declaration that he had not been running in vain would materially aid him in his mission. Μή πως is therefore to be taken as marking an indirect question, whether - not possibly; and the sense of the whole passage is as follows: "I laid before them that gospel which I preach to the Gentiles, that they might examine and settle for themselves the question whether I am not possibly running or had run in vain." The investigation was to be for their satisfaction, not for Paul's. Run (τρέχειν) is a favorite metaphor with Paul. See Romans 9:16; 1 Corinthians 9:24, 1 Corinthians 9:26; Galatians 5:7; Philippians 2:16; Philippians 3:13, Philippians 3:14.

Galatians 2:2 Interlinear
Galatians 2:2 Parallel Texts

Galatians 2:2 NIV
Galatians 2:2 NLT
Galatians 2:2 ESV
Galatians 2:2 NASB
Galatians 2:2 KJV

Galatians 2:2 Bible Apps
Galatians 2:2 Parallel
Galatians 2:2 Biblia Paralela
Galatians 2:2 Chinese Bible
Galatians 2:2 French Bible
Galatians 2:2 German Bible

Bible Hub

Galatians 2:1
Top of Page
Top of Page