Galatians 2:7
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
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(7-9) So far from contributing anything new to my stock of doctrine, they were content to confirm and ratify what I taught already.

(7) Gospel of the uncircumcisioni.e., a gospel for the uncircumcised. The elder Apostles recognised St. Paul because they saw that his teaching was fundamentally the same as their own. At the same time, the success of St. Paul among the Gentiles proved that his mission to them had the divine sanction, just as the success of St. Peter among the Jews specially marked him out as the “Apostle of the circumcision.”

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.The gospel of the uncircumcision - The duty of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised part of the world; that is, to the Gentiles Paul had received this as his unique office when he was converted and called to the ministry (see Acts 9:15; Acts 22:21); and they now perceived that he had been specially intrusted with this office, from the remarkable success which had attended his labors. It is evidently not meant here that Paul was to preach only to the Gentiles and Peter only to the Jews, for Paul often preached in the synagogues of the Jews, and Peter was the first who preached to a Gentile Acts 10; but it is meant that it was the main business of Paul to preach to the Gentiles, or that this was especially entrusted to him.

As the gospel of the circumcision - As the office of preaching the gospel to the Jews.

Was unto Peter - Peter was to preach principally to the circumcised Jews. It is evident that until this time Peter had been principally employed in preaching to the Jews. Paul selects Peter here particularly, doubtless because he was the oldest of the apostles, and in order to show that he was himself regarded as on a level in regard to the apostleship with the most aged and venerable of those who had been called to the apostolic office by the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus.

7. contrariwise—on the contrary. So far from adding any new light to ME, THEY gave in THEIR adhesion to the new path on which Barnabas and I, by independent revelation, had entered. So far from censuring, they gave a hearty approval to my independent course, namely, the innovation of preaching the Gospel without circumcision to the Gentiles.

when they saw—from the effects which I showed them, were "wrought" (Ga 2:8; Ac 15:12).

was committed unto me—Greek, "I was entrusted with."

gospel of the uncircumcision—that is, of the Gentiles, who were to be converted without circumcision being required.

circumcision … unto Peter—Peter had originally opened the door to the Gentiles (Ac 10:1-48; 15:7). But in the ultimate apportionment of the spheres of labor, the Jews were assigned to him (compare 1Pe 1:1). So Paul on the other hand wrote to the Hebrews (compare also Col 4:11), though his main work was among the Gentiles. The non-mention of Peter in the list of names, presciently through the Spirit, given in the sixteenth chapter of Romans, shows that Peter's residence at Rome, much more primacy, was then unknown. The same is palpable from the sphere here assigned to him.

But contrariwise, when they saw; they were so far from contradicting any thing that I had preached, that when they understood from me, and Barnabas, {who Acts 15:12, declared in the council what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them} that the gospel of the uncircumcision, that the business of preaching the gospel to those who were no Jews, (for that is meant by

uncircumcision; not simply those that were not circumcised, for some of the heathens were circumcised, yet all go in Scripture under the name of uncircumcised),

was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; as the preaching of the gospel to the Jews was committed to Peter, and not to him only, but to James and John. It must not be so understood, as if Paul might not preach to the Jews, or Peter might not preach to the Gentiles, (for the contrary is evident from Acts 9:15, as to Paul, and from Peter’s preaching to Cornelius, Acts 10:1-48), but because God designed the Gentiles to be more especially the province for Paul to exercise his ministry in, Acts 26:17, (and accordingly he was specially sent out by the church, Acts 13:3), as Peter’s chief work was among the Jews.

But contrariwise, when they saw that the Gospel,.... James, Cephas, and John, were so far from blaming or correcting anything in the apostle's ministry, or adding anything to it, that they highly approved of it; and as a token of their agreement with him and Barnabas, gave them the right hand of fellowship: the reasons of their so doing are inserted here, and in the following verse, and in the next to that: the reason here given is, because

they saw that the Gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the Gospel of the circumcision was to Peter; by "the uncircumcision and circumcision" are meant the Gentiles and Jews; see Romans 2:26 by the Gospel of the one, and the Gospel of the other, two Gospels are not designed, for there is but one Gospel, and not another. Paul did not preach one Gospel unto the uncircumcised Gentiles, and Peter another to the circumcised Jews; but the same Gospel was preached by both, and is so called with respect to the different persons to whom it was preached by these apostles. The Apostle Paul was ordained a minister of the Gentiles, and he chiefly preached among them, though not to them only. Peter was principally employed among the Jews, though also as he had opportunity he sometimes preached to the Gentiles: however, the subject of both their ministrations was the Gospel, which is said to be "committed" to them, as a trust deposited in their hands, not by man, but by God; the management of which required both prudence and faithfulness, and which were eminently seen in these good stewards of the mysteries of God. This being observed by the apostles at Jerusalem, they came into an agreement that one part should discharge their ministry among the Gentiles, and the other among the Jews.

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the {f} uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

(f) Among the Gentiles, as Peter had to preach it among the Jews.

Galatians 2:7. Ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον] to be separated merely by a comma from the preceding, being still connected with γάρ. “To me they made no kind of communication; but, on the contrary, when they had seen etc., the three pillar-apostles concluded with me and Barnabas the apostolic alliance,” etc. (Galatians 2:9). Hofmann, with a view to extort a regimen for ἀπὸ τῶν δοκούντων in Galatians 2:6, very arbitrarily tears asunder the clear and simple connection which the words obviously present, taking ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον by itself and dissevered from what follows, and supplementing the sense by the insertion, “They have not proposed anything to me, but conversely, I to them.” Comp. on τοὐναντίον, 2 Corinthians 2:7, 1 Peter 3:9; very frequently (also τἀναντία) occurring in Greek authors (Schaefer, ad Bos. Ell. p. 297). But this strange ellipsis is a device utterly unprecedented.[77]

ἰδόντες] after they had seen, namely, from the way in which I to them κατʼ ἰδίαν ἀνεθέμην τὸ εὐαγγ. ὃ κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι (Galatians 2:2). Usteri, “from the blessed result of my preaching.” So also Rosenmüller, Winer, Baur, Hilgenfeld, Holsten, Hofmann; Rückert, Schott, de Wette, Wieseler, mix the two views; and Fritzsche includes the previous labours of the apostle among the Gentiles, e.g. in Tarsus and Antioch, among the grounds of knowledge. But nothing beyond what we have just given can be gathered from the context. Erasmus appropriately paraphrases, “ubi communicato cum illis evangelio meo perspexissent.”

ὅτι πεπίστ. τ. εὐαγγ. τ. ἀκροβ. κ.τ.λ.] The emphasis is laid on καθὼς Πέτρος τῆς περιτ., as Galatians 2:8 shows. They saw that my having been divinely entrusted with the gospel for the Gentiles was just such (just as undoubted, true, direct, etc.), as was Peter’s divine trust with the gospel for the Jews; consequently there could be no question of any προσαναθεῖναι, and nothing could follow but complete recognition (Galatians 2:9). The construction (comp. Romans 3:2; 1 Corinthians 9:17) in the sense of πεπίστευταί μοι τὸ εὐαγγ. (as F G, 19*, 46** actually read) is regular; as to the perfect, used of the enduring subsistence of the act, see Winer, p. 255 [E. T. 339].

τῆς ἀκροβυστίας] that is, τῶν ἀκροβύστων (Romans 2:26; Romans 3:30; Ephesians 2:11), the gospel which belonged to the uncircumcised, and was to be preached to them.

καθὼς Πέτρος τῆς περιτομ.] Thus Peter appears as the representative of the Jewish apostles, in accordance with his superiority among them (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2, 3, 4, 5 et al.). The destination of Peter as an apostle to the Gentiles also (Acts 15:7; 1 Peter 1:1) is not negatived, but a potiori fit denominatio.

That this passage relates not to two different gospels, but to the same gospel for two different circles of recipients, to whose peculiarities respectively the nature and mode of preaching required special adaptation, is obvious of itself, and is clear from Galatians 2:8-9. But the passage cannot be worse misunderstood than it has been by Baur, according to whom there was a special gospel of the uncircumcision and a special gospel of the circumcision, differing in this respect, that the one maintained the necessity of circumcision, while the other allowed it to drop. Comp. Holsten, who discovers the distinctive feature of the Gentile gospel in the “gnosis of the death of the cross,” in spite of 1 Corinthians 1:23 f. In opposition to such a separation, see also Ritschl, altkath. K. p. 127 f.

[77] Certainly the ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον was, for Hofmann at least, the most refractory part of the sentence, which had in some sort of way to be forcibly torn from its natural connection with ἰδόντες,—a connection justly unassailed by expositors. And he has managed it by the device of the above mentioned ellipsis!

Galatians 2:7. The emphatic opening of this verse, Ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον, gives prominence to the thorough contrast presented by James, Cephas and John to the cold reserve of these suspicious and prejudiced opponents. It is perfectly clear in the Greek text, though unfortunately not in the English versions, that they are the subject throughout Galatians 2:7-9, and that the participles ἰδόντες and γνόντες refer to them as well as the verb ἔδωκαν. But contrariwise James and Cephas and John … when they saw … and perceived the grace that was given unto me, gave to me and Barnabas right hands of fellowship. They saw in the marvellous success of Paul and Barnabas a visible token of their divine commission and of the grace bestowed upon them. These were doubtless the real authors of the final resolution adopted by the Council; and its hearty appreciation of their beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ coincides with the language of the Epistle.—Πέτρος. In this and the next verse the Greek name is used to designate the Apostle of the circumcision, probably because he was already known to the whole Greek world as an Apostle under that name. In Jerusalem, however, and as a man, he habitually went by his Hebrew surname Cephas, and that name is accordingly given him elsewhere in the Epistle.

7. contrariwise] See 2 Corinthians 2:6-7; 1 Peter 3:9. In both these passages the word expresses the strongest possible contrast. It is used absolutely, ‘The very reverse was the case—when they saw, &c.’

when they saw] ‘They’ is used with reference to ‘those of reputation’, before mentioned, and is restricted (Galatians 2:9) to three Apostles specified by name.

the gospel of the uncircumcision … to Peter] Clearly not two different Gospels, as Jowett understands the passage. This would be to contradict what had been said ch. Galatians 1:6-9. It can only mean ‘the work of evangelising Gentiles and Jews’. So we read of “the beginning of the Gospel” Php 4:15, i.e. the early days of missionary effort. In the Greek the word ‘Gospel’ is not repeated, but has been supplied (in Italics) in both A.V. and R.V. A more exact rendering would be, “I have been entrusted with the Gospel for the Gentiles, even as Peter was for the Jews”. The disease is one and the same, however the symptoms may vary in different individuals or classes, Romans 3:9; Isaiah 53:6, and the remedy is one, Romans 1:16; Romans 3:28-30.

was committed] Lit. ‘has been entrusted’, comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 4:1.

7–9. ‘So far from their communicating any further revelation to me, their conduct was the very opposite of this. They recognised the completeness of the Gospel which I preach, by consenting to the arrangement by which I was to go to the Gentiles and they to the Jews’.

Two causes combined to bring about this result—they ‘saw’ the success of St Paul’s missionary labours, ‘the signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles’ by Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:12); and they recognised the cause of this success, the grace of God, which alone can make a weak and sinful man to be an able minister of the new covenant.

Galatians 2:7. Ἰδόντες) seeing from the effect itself, which I pointed out to them, Galatians 2:8; Acts 15:12.—τῆς ἀκροβυστίας, of the uncircumcision) i.e. of the Gentiles, who were to be brought to the faith without circumcision.

Verse 7. - But contrariwise (ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον)l as 2 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Peter 3:9. This "contrariwise" is illustrated by the foregoing note. When they saw (ἰδόντες); when they got to see. This implies that the fact was new to them. A few of them, no doubt, were apprised of it previously, Cephas in particular (see Galatians 1:18 and note); but the majority of that assemblage of apostles and elders knew Paul chiefly by hearsay, and hearsay not always the most friendly to him. The three named in the next verse are to be conceived of as acting as they did in order to give expression to this newly awakened feeling of the general body, and not merely to their own individual judgment. That the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter (ὅτι πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας καθὼς Πέτροβ τῆς περιτομῆς); that I had been put in trust of the gospel... as Peter of that of, etc. The perfect present πεπίστευμαι, viewed from the time of their seeing it. So the present ὀρθοποδοῦσιν in ver. 14, and μέναι in John 1:40. The perfect is used and not the aorist (cf. Romans 3:2), as marking the then still continuing holding of the trust, and also perhaps, as implying the con-tinning identity of the doctrine preached. (For the construction of the accusative εὐαγγέλιον, after πεπίστευμαι, comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:11.) Gospel of the uncircumcision. The word "gospel" is frequently used by St. Paul to denote, not so much the substance of its doctrine as the business of proclaiming it (comp. Romans 1:1, 9; Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 9:14, 18; 2 Corinthians 2:12); and thus the gospel of the uncircumcision does not indicate any diversity in the doctrine communicated to the uncircumcision from that communicatcd to the Jews, but simply a diversity in the sphere of its proclamation. Ἀκροβυστία denotes the class of the uncircumcised in contrast to περιτομή, that of the circumcised, as in Romans 3:30. As Peter of that of the circumcision. This distinction between the spheres of work entrusted severally to the two apostles held good of them only as viewed in the main in either case; for as St. Peter was, in fact, the first who opened the gospel to the Gentiles, and afterwards, towards the close of his work, cared for the welfare of Gentile Christians by writing his two Epistles to them, so also St. Paul everywhere in his ministerial work addressed himself in the first instance to the Jews. Nevertheless, in the main, Peter was the head of the Church of the circumcised, Paul of that of the uncircumcised. But how completely the substance of Peter's doctrine was one with that of Paul's is strikingly evinced by his two Epistles (see 1 Peter 5:12). It is difficult to feel that St. Paul could have written as he here does, if he was aware that St. Peter had been constituted by the Lord Jesus to be his own vicar upon earth, supreme over the whole Church and all its ministers. Galatians 2:7The gospel of the uncircumcision (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας)

The phrase only here in N.T. The gospel which was to be preached to the uncircumcised - the Gentiles. Lightfoot aptly says: "It denotes a distinction of sphere, and not a difference of type."

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