Galatians 2:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

New Living Translation
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.

English Standard Version
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

Berean Study Bible
When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, because he stood to be condemned.

Berean Literal Bible
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned.

New American Standard Bible
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

King James Bible
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Christian Standard Bible
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned.

Contemporary English Version
When Peter came to Antioch, I told him face to face that he was wrong.

Good News Translation
But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned.

International Standard Version
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly wrong.

NET Bible
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong.

New Heart English Bible
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, because he stood condemned.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But when Kaypha came to Antiakia, I rebuked him to his face because they were tripped up by him;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When Cephas came to Antioch, I had to openly oppose him because he was completely wrong.

New American Standard 1977
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face because he was to be blamed.

King James 2000 Bible
But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed.

American King James Version
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

American Standard Version
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Darby Bible Translation
But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to [the] face, because he was to be condemned:

English Revised Version
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned.

Webster's Bible Translation
But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Weymouth New Testament
Now when Peter visited Antioch, I remonstrated with him to his face, because he had incurred just censure.

World English Bible
But when Peter came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, because he stood condemned.

Young's Literal Translation
And when Peter came to Antioch, to the face I stood up against him, because he was blameworthy,
Study Bible
Paul Confronts Cephas
10They only asked us to be mindful of the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. 11When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, because he stood to be condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself, for fear of those in the circumcision group.…
Cross References
John 1:42
Andrew brought him to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which is translated as Peter).

Acts 11:19
Meanwhile, those scattered by the persecution that began with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the message only to Jews.

Acts 11:20
But some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus.

Acts 11:22
When news of this reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

Acts 11:27
In those days some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

Acts 15:1
Then some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

Acts 15:5
But some believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and declared, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses."

Galatians 1:18
Only after three years did I go up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas, and I stayed with him fifteen days.

Galatians 2:7
On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.

Galatians 2:9
And recognizing the grace I had been given, James, Cephas, and John--those reputed to be pillars--gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the Jews.

Treasury of Scripture

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

to Antioch.

Acts 15:30-35 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they …

I withstood.

Galatians 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the …

2 Corinthians 5:16 Why from now on know we no man after the flesh: yes, though we have …

2 Corinthians 11:5,21-28 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles…

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write to you of the common …


Exodus 32:21,22 And Moses said to Aaron, What did this people to you, that you have …

Numbers 20:12 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, Because you believed me not, …

Jeremiah 1:17 You therefore gird up your loins, and arise, and speak to them all …

Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, …

Jonah 4:3,4,9 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech you, my life from me; for …

Matthew 16:17,18,23 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: …

Acts 15:37-39 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark…

Acts 23:1-5 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brothers, …

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, …

1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth …

(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.

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. 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. 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.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.
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