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Pauls Trials. manifestations of my ministry, more faithful and sell weak 1 Corinthians, 9. 22). ** Care generates sympathy. denying: and richer in tokens of God's recognition of which causes the minister of Christ personally to enter my ministry. Od anthorities read the order thus." In l into the feelings of all his people, as if he stood in prisons above measure, in stripes more abundantly their position, so as to accommodate himself to all." (English Version, less accurately, more frequent"). (CALVIN.] offended-by some stumblingblock put in Acts, 16. 23. &c, records one case of his imprisonment | his way by others: the "weak" is most liable to be with stripes. CLEMENT (Ep. to Corinth., describes offended." I burn not-The "I" in the Greek is emhim as having suffered bonds seven times. in deaths / phatic, which it is not in the former clause, “I am otch. 4. 10; Acts. 9. 23: 13. 50: 14. , 6, 19; 17. 6, 13. not weak." I not only enter into the feeling of the 24. Denteronomy, 25. 3, ordained that not more than party offended, but I burn with indignation at the forty stripes should be inflicted. To avoid exceeding offender, I myself taking up his cause as my own. this number, they gave one short of it: thirteen strokes* Who meets with a stumblingblock, and I am not with a treble lash. (BENGEL) This is one of those | disturbed even more than himself." (NEANDER.) SO. minute agreements with Jewish nsage, which a forger glory of...infirmities-A striking contrast! Glorying or would have not been likely to observe. 25. The beat boasting of what others make matter of shame, vis. ing by Roman magistrates at Philtppi (Acts, 16. 23) is nirmities; for instance, his humbling mode of escape the only one recorded in Acts, which does not profess in a basket (v. 33). A character utterly incompatible to give a complete journal of his life, but only a sketch with that of an enthusiast (cf. ch. 12. 8, 9, 10). 31. This of it in connexion with the design of the book, ris., to solemn asseveration refers to what follows. The pergive an outline of the history of the gospel church from secution at Damascus was one of the first and greatest, its foundation at Jerusalem, to the period of its reach and having no human witness of it to adduce to the ing Pome, the capital of the Gentile world. once was I Corinthians, as being a fact that happened long before stoned - (Acts, 14. 19.) thrice....shipwreck - before the land was known to few, he appeals to God for its truth. shipwreck at Melita (Acts, 27.). Probably in some of Luke (Acts, 9. 25) afterwards recorded it cf. Galatians, his voyages from Tarsus, where he stayed for some 1. 20. (BESGEL) It may also refer to the revelation time after his conversion, and from which, as being & in ch. 12. 1, standing in beautiful contrast to his huserfaring place, he was likely to make missionary miliating escape from Damascus. 32. governor-Greek, voyages to adjoining places (Acts, 9. 30; 11. 25; Gala-"Ethparch" & Jewish officer to whom heathen rulers tians, 1. 211, a night and a day...in the deep-- probably gave authority over Jews in large cities where they were in part swimming or in an open boat. 26. ln-rather, numerous. He was in this case under Aretns, king of * By : connected with t. 23, but now not with "in, Arabia. Damascus was in a Roman province. But at es there, and as in v. 27, where again he passes to the this time, 38 or 39 A.D., three years after St. Panl's conides of surrounding circumstances or environments. version, 36 A.D., Aretas, against whom the emperor (ALFORD, ELLICOTT, &c.) waters-rather, as Greek, Tiberius as the ally of Herod Agrippa had sent an army ** rivers," viz., perils by the flooding of rivers, as on the under Vitellius, had got possession of Damascus on the road often traversed by Paul between Jerusalem and death of the emperor, and the consequent interruption Antioch, crossed as it is by the torrents rushing down of Vitellius operations. His possession of it was put from Lebanon. So the traveller Spon lost his life. an end to immediately after by the Romans. (NEASrobberg-perhaps in his journey from Perga to Antioch DER) Rather, it was granted by Caligula 38 A.D.) to in Fisidia. Pisidia was notorious for robbers ; as in- Aretas, whose predecessors had possessed it. This is deed were all the mountains that divided the high land proved by our having no Damascene coins of Caligula or of Asia from the ses. the heatben-Gentiles in the Claudius, though we have of their immediate imperial city-Damascus, Acts, 9. 24, 25; Jerusalem, Acte, 9. 20; predecessors and successors. (ALFORD.) Ephesus, Acts, 19. 23. false brethren-(Galatians, 2. 4.)
CHAPTER XII. 27. fasting3-roluntary, in order to kindle devotions Ver. 1-21. REVELATIONS IN WHICH HE MIGHT (Acts, 13. 2. 3: 14. 23: 1 Corinthians, 9. 27); for they are GLORY: BUT BERATAEK GLORIES IN INFIRMITIES, AS distinguished from "hunger and thirst" which were | CALLING FORTH CHRIST'S POWER: SIGNS OF HIS in roluntary. (GROTIUS.) See, however, Note, ch. 6. 5. APOSTLESHIP: His DISINTERESTEDNESS: NOT THAT The context refers solely to hardships, not to self-im-VEIS EXCUSING HIMSELF TO THEM; BUT HE DOES ALL posed devotional mortifications. “Hunger and thirst" | FOR THEIR GOOD, LEST HE SHOULD FIND TSEN XOT are not synonymous with "foodlessness" (as the Greek UCH AS HE DESIRED, AND SO SHOTLD HAVE T BE of " fastings" means), but are its consequences. cola SEVERE AT HIS COMING. 1. He proceeds to illustrate ...nakedness - "cold" resulting from "nakedness," or the “glorying in infirmities" (ch. 11. 30). He gave one insutti cient clothing, as the Greek often ineans: as instance which might expose him to ridicule (ch, 11. 33: * hunger and thirst result from "footiesxness." (CI. he now gives another, but this one connected with a Acts, 25. 2; Romans, 8. 35.) ** When we remember that glorious revelation of which it was the sequel: but he he who endured all this was a man constantly suffer- dwells not on the glory done to himself, but on the ing from infirm health (2 Corinthians, 4. 7-12; 12. 7-10; infirmity which followed it, as displaying Christ's Galatians, 4. 13, 10), such heroic self-devotion seems power. The oldest MSS. read, "I MUST NEEDS boast almost superhuman." (COXYBEARE & Howsox.) 28. (or glory) though it be not expedient: for I will come. ** withont-" Beside" trials falling on me externally, just The "for gives a proof that it is not expedient to recounted, there is "that which cometh upon me (lit., boast:" I will take the case of revelations, in which is thue impetuous concourse to me of business; properly, a any where boasting might be thought harmiess, croird rising up against one cumin and again, and" Visions" refer to things even: "revelations," to things ready to bear hiin dowen), the care of all the churches leard (cf. 1 Samuel, 9. 15) or revealed in any way. In (including those not yet scen in the flesh, Colossians, "visions" their signification was not always vouch2. 1): an internal and more weighty anxiety. But the safed;" in "revelations" there was always an unveiling oldest MSS, for "that which cometh," read, "the of truths before hidden (Daniel, 2. 19, 31). All parts of pressure :" "the pressing care-taling" or "inspection Scripture alike are matter of inspiration : but not all that is upon me daily." ALFORD translates, “Omit- of revelation. There are degrees of revelation; but ting what is EEMIDE; vix, those other trials besides not of inspiration. of -1.6., from the Lord: Christ, .! those recounted. But the Vulgate, ESTIUS, and 2. Translate, “I know," not " I knew." a man-mesinBESGEL, support English Version. the care-The Greeking himsel. But he purposely thus distinguishes beimplies, “my anrious solicitude for all the churches." tween the rapt and glorired person of t. 2, 4, and he 29. I... weak-in condescending sympathy with the sell the infirunity-Jaden victim of the "thorn in the flest.
Paul's Vision and
Subsequent Thorn. (v.7). Such glory belonged not to him, but the weakness so much restraint. (BENG EL.] abundance-Greek, "the did. Nay he did not even know whether he was in or excess;" exceeding greatness. given...me-viz.. by God out of the body when the glory was put upon him, so I (Job, 6.6: Philippians, 1. 20). thorn in the flesh-(Numfar was the glory from being his. (ALFORD.] His bers, 33. 65; Ezekiel, 28. 24.) ALFORD thinks it to be the spiritual self was his highest and truest self: the fiesh same bodily affliction as in Galatians, 4. 13, 11. It cerwith its infirmity merely his temporary self (Romans, I tainly was something personal, affecting him individ7. 253. Here, however, the latter is the prominent / ually, and not as an apostle : causing at once acute thought. in Christ-a Christian (Romans, 16.7). above pain (as "thorn" implies) and shame (" buffet:" as --rather, simply "fourteen years ago." This epistle | slaves are butleted, 1 Peter, 2, 20). messenger of Satanwas written 55-57 A.D. Fourteen years before will bring who is permitted by God to afflict His saints, ils Job the vision to 41-43 A.D., the time of his second visit to (Job, 2. 7; Luke, 13. 16). to buffet me--In Greek, present: Jerusalem (Acts, 22. 17). He had long been intimate to buffet me even now continuously. After experiencwith the Corinthians, yet had never mentioned this re- ing the state of the blissful angels, he is now exposed velation before: it was not a matter lightly to be spoken to the influence of an evil angel. The chastisement of. I cannot tell-rather as Greek, "I know not." If | from hell follows soon upon the revelation from heaven, in the body, he must have been caught up bodily: if As his sight and hearing had been ravished with out or the body, as seems to be Paul's opinion, his spirit | heavenly "revelations," so his touch is pained with the must have been caught up out of the body. At all "thorn in the flesh." 8. For "concerning this thing. events he recognises the possibility of conscious recep-thrice-To his first and second prayer no answer came. tivity in disembodied spirits. caught up-(Acts, 8. 39.) | To his third the answer came, which satisfied his faith to the third heaven-"ecen to," &c. These raptures and led him to bow his will to God's will. So Paul's note the plural. "visions," " revelations ") had two master, Jesus, thrice prayed on the mount of Olives, in degrees: first he was caught up to the third heaven," resignation to the Father's will. The thorn seems and from thence to “Paradise" (v. 4) (CLEMENS, (from v. 9, and Greek v. 7, "that he may buffet me") to Alexandrinus Stromata, 6. 427), which seems to denote have continued with Paul when he wrote, lest still sa inner recess of the third heaven (BENGEL) Luke, he should be "overmuch lifted up." the Lord-Christ. 23. 43: Revelation, 2. 7). St. Paul was permitted not Escape from the cross is not to be songht even inonly to "hear" the things of Paradise, but to see also in directly from Satan (Luke, 4. 7). "Satan is not to be some degree the things of the third heaven (cf." visions," | asked to spare us." (BENGEL.] 9. said-lit.."lle hath E. 1. The occurrence TWICE of "whether in the body, I said:" implying that his answer is enough. (ALFORD.) &c. I know not, God knoweth," and of " lest I should | is sufficient-The trial must endure, but the grace shall be exalted above measure," marks two stages in the also endure and never fail thee (ALFORD) (Deuterorevelation. "Ignorance of the mode does not set aside nomy, 33. 26). The Lord puts the words into Paul's the certain knowledge of the fact. The apostles were month, that following them up he might say," O Lord, ignorant of many things." (BENGEL) The first heaven thy grace is sufficient for me." (BENGEL.) my strength is that of the clouds, the air; the second, that of the -Greck, "power." is made perfect-has its most perstars, the sky: the third is spiritual (Ephesians, 4. 10). fect manifestation. in weakness - Do not ask for 3. Translate. "I know." out of - Most of the oldest sensible strength, FOR my power is perfected in man's MSS. read" apart from." 4. unspeakable-not in them "strengthlessness" (so the Greele). The " for implies. selves, otberwise Paul could not have heard them; but thy "strengthlessness" (the same Greek as is translated as the explanation states, “which it is not lawful...to “weakness ;” and in v. 10, "infirmities") is the very utter." (ALFORD.) They were designed for Paul's own element in which my "power" (which moves coincident consolation, and not for communication to others. with "my grace") exhibits itself most perfectly. So Some heavenly words are communicable (Exodus, 34. 6; that Paul instead of desiring the infirmity to “depart." Isaiah, 6. 3. These were not so. St. Paul had not the "rather" henceforth "glories in infirmities, that the power adequately to utter; nor if he had, would be have power of Christ may rest (Greek, 'tabernacle upon: been permitted, nor would earthly men comprehend cover my infirmity all over as with a tabernacle; cf. them (John, 3. 12; 1 Corinthians, 2. 9). A man may hear Greek, John, 1. 12) upon" him. This effect of Christ's abd know more than he can speak, 5. of myself-con- assurance on him appears, ch. 4. 7; 1 Corinthians, 2. 3. cering myself. Sell is put in the background, except | 4; cf. 1 Peter, 4. 14. The "my" is omitted in some of in respect to his infirmities; his glorying in his other | the oldest MSS.; the sense is the same, "power" (resell, to which the revelations were vouchsafed, was not ferring to God's power) standing absolutely, in conin order to give glory to his fleshly self, but to bring trast to "weakness" (put absolutely, for man's weakout in contrast the "infirmities" of the latter, that | ness). Paul often repeats the word "weakness" or Christ might have all the glory. 6. For-Not but that "infirmity" (chs. 11., 12., and 13.) as being Christ's own I might glory as to "myself" (0.5); "For if I should word. The Lord has more need of our weakness than desire to glory, I shall not be a fool;" for I have things of our strength : our strength is often His rival; our to glory, or boast of which are good matter for glory- weakness, His servant, drawing on His resources, and ing of (not mere external fleshly advantages which showing forth His glory. Man's extremity is God's wben be gloried in ch, 11.) he termed such glorying opportunity ; man's security is Satan's opportunity. * folly." ch. 11. 1, 16, 17). think of me-Greek, “ form his God's way is not to take flis children out of trial, but estimate respecting me." heareth of me-Greek, "heareth to give them strength to bear up against it (Psalm 89.7: aught from me." Whatever haply he heareth from me John, 17. 15). 10. take pleasure in - Too strongly. in person. If on account of healing a cripple (Acts, 14. Rather as the Greek, "I am well contented in." in. 12, 13), and shaking off a viper (Acts, 28.), the people firmities-the genus. Two pairs of species follow, partly thought him a god, what would they have not done, coming from "Satan's messenger,” partly from men. if be bad disclosed those revelations. (ESTIUS.) I reproaches - "insults." when - in all the cases just wish each of you to estimate me by "what he sees" my specified. then-then especially. Strong - powerful" present acts and "hears" my teaching to be; not by in the power of Christ" (v. 9; ch. 13. 4; Hebrews, iny boasting of past revelations. They who allow them- 11, 34). 11. in glorying-Omitted in the oldest MSS. “I selves to be thought of more highly than is lawful, am become a fool,' He sounds a retreat. (BENGEL) ye defraud themselves of the honour which is at God's 1 -Emphatic. "It is YE who have compelled me; for disposal (BENGEL (John, 6. 44; 12. 43). 7. exalted above I ought to have been commended by yon," instead of measurs-Grek," overmuch uplifted." How dangerous having to commend myself, am I behind-rather as must self exaltation be, when even the apostle required | Greek," was I behind," when I was with you the very
Paul's Vision and
Subsequent Thorn. chiefest-rather, as in ch. 11. 6." those overmuch know well I did not. My associates were as disinterapostles." though I be nothing-in mysell (1 Corin- ested as myself. An important rule to all who wouid thians, 16. 9, 10). 12. Traly, &c.-There is understood influence others for good. 18. I desired Titus-viz., to some such clause as this, “And yet I have not been go unto you. Not the mission mentioned ch. 8. 6, 17, 22: commended by you." in all patience, in signs, &c.-The but a mission previous to this epistle, probably that oldest MSS. omit "in." " Patience" is not one of the from which he had just returned announcing to Paul "signs," but the element in which they were wrought: their penitence (ch. 7. 6. &c.). a brother-rather “QUR endurance of opposition which did not cause me to (lit., the) brother" one well known to the Corinthians, leave off working. (ALFORD.) Translate, “Is... and perhaps a Corinthian; probably one of the two patience, BY signs," &c. His mode of expression is mentioned ch. 8.18, 22. same spirit-inwardly. stepemodest, putting himself, the worker, in the back outwardly. 19. Again-The oldest MSS. read, “This ground, "were wrought," not "I wrought." As 'the long time ye think that we are excusing ourselves unto signs have not been transmitted to us, neither has the you? (Nay.) It is before God (as opposed to 'unto apostleship. The apostles have no literal successors (cf. you') that we speak in Christ" (ch. 2. 17). English Acts, 1.21, 22). mighty deeds-palpable works of Divine Version Greek text was a correction from ch. 3. 1; 4, 12. omnipotence. The silence of the apostles in fourteen 20. For-Assigning cause why they needed to be thus epistles, as to miracles, arises from the design of those spoken to "for their edification," viz., his fear that at epistles being hortatory, not controversial. The pass his coming heshould find them "pot such as he would." ing allusions to miracles in seven epistles prove that and so he should be found by them "such as they the writers were not enthusiasts to whom miracles seem would not" like, viz., severe in punishing misconduct. the most important thing. Doctrines were with them debates-Greek," strifes," "contentions." envyings-The the important matter, save when convincing adver- oldest MSS. read "envying," singular. strifes - "fac. saries. In the seven epistles the mention of miracles is tions," " intrigues," "factious schemes." (WAHL) not obtrusice, but marked by a calm air of assurance, Ambitious self seeking: from a Greek root,“ to work for as of facts acknowledged on all hands, and therefore hire." backbitings, whisperings - open "slanderings," unnecessary to dwell on. This is a much stronger and "whispering backbitings" (Galatians, 8. 20. Swellproof of their reality, than if they were formally and ings-arrogant elation: puffing up of yourselves. Jude, obtrusively asserted. Signs and wonders is the regular 16, “great swelling words” (2 Peter, 2. 18). 21. my God formula of the Old Testament, which New Testament -Implying his resignation to the will of God as being readers would necessarily understand of supernatural his God, however trying the humiliation that was in works. Again, in the gospels the miracles are so in store for him. will humble me-The indicative implies separably and congruously tied up with the history. that the supposition will actually be s0. The faitbfal that you cannot deny the former without denying the I pastor is “humbled" at, and "bewails" the falls of his latter also. And then you have a greater difficulty than people, as though they were his own. sinned alreadyever, viz., to account for the rise of Christianity: so before my last coming (BENGEL), i.e., before the second that the infidel has soniething infinitely more difficult visit which he paid, and in which he had much at to believe, than that which he rejects, and which the Corinth to rebuke, have not repented--shall not have Christian more rationally accepts. 13. wherein you were repented. (ALFORD.) uncleanpess--for example, of inferior-i.e., were treated with less consideration by married persons (1 Thessalonians, 4. 7). fornicationme than were other churches. I mysell-I made a gain among the unmarried. of you neither myself, nor by those others whom I sent,
CHAPTER XIII. Titus, &c. (0, 17, 18). wrong-His declining support Ver. 1-14. HE THREATENS A SEVERE PROOF OF BIS from the Corinthians might be regarded as the denial APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, BUT PREFERS THEY WOULD to them of a privilege, and a mark of their spiritual in SPARE HIM THE NECESSITY FOR IT. 1. This is the feriority, and of his looking on them with less confid! third time I am coming to you--not merely preparing to ence and love cf. ch. 11. 9, 11). 14. the third time-See I come to you. This proves an intermediate visit between Introduction to First Corinthians. His second visit the two recorded in Acts, 18. I, &c.; 20. 2. In the mouth was probably a sbort one (1 Corinthians, 16. 7), and of two or three witnesses shall every word be established attended with humiliation through the scandalous -Quoted from Deuteronomy, 19. 15, LXX. "I will conduct of some of his converts (cf. v. 21; ch, 2, 1) judge not without examination, nor will I abstain from It was probably paid during his three years' sojourn at punishing upon due evidence." (CONYBEARE & Ephesus, from which he could pass so readily by sea to Howson.) I will no longer be among you "in all Corinth (cf. ch. 1. 15, 16; 13. 1, 2). The context here im. patience towards offenders (ch, 12. 12). The apostle plies nothing of a third preparation to come; but, "I in this case, where ordinary testimony was to be had, am coming, and the third time, and will not burden you does not look for an immediate revelation, nor does this time any more tban I did at my two previous visits." he order the culprits to be cast out of the church before (ALFORD.) not yours, but you - (Philippians, 4. 17.) his arrival. Others understand the "two or three children... parents-St. Paul was their spiritual father witnesses" to mean his two or three visits as establish(1 Corinthians, 4. 14, 15). He does not, therefore, seeking either (1.) the truth of the facts alleged against the earthly treasure from them, but lays up the best offenders, or (2.) the reality of his threats. I prefer the treasure (viz., spiritual) " for their souls" (v. 15). 15. I first explanation to either of the two latter. 2. Rather, will...spend-all I have. be spent-all that I am. This "I have already said (at my second visit), and tell you is more than even natural parents do. They "lay up now) beforehand. As (I did) WHEN I WAS PRESENT treasures for their children." But I spend not merely THE SECOND TIME, so also NOW in my absence (the my treasures, but mysel. for you-Greek "for your oldest MSS. omit the 'I write,' which here wrongly souls" not for your mere bodies, the less I be loved follows in English Version Greck text to them which Love rather descends than ascends. (BENGEL) Love heretofore have sinned (viz., before my second visit, him as a true friend who seeks your good more than ch. 12. 21), and to all others" who have sinced since your good will. 16. I did not burden you-The "l"in the my second visit, or are in danger of sinning, &c The Greek is emphatic. A possible insinuation of the English Version," as v I were present the second time, Corinthians is hereby anticipated and refuted : " But, viz., this next time, is quite inconsistent with v. 1. you may say, granted that I did not burden you my "this is the third time I am coming to you,' as Paul self; nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you in my could not have called the same journey at once the net) with guile:" ris., made a gain of you by means second" and "the third time" of his coining. The of others (1 Thessalonians, 2. 3). 17. Paul's reply: You I antithesis between "the second time" and "now is
Paul Threatens a Severe Proof
of his Apostolic Authority. palpable. if I come again, &c. -i.e., whensoever I come in me," without needing a proof from me more trying arain (Acts, 20. 2). These were probably the very to yourselves. If ye doubt my apostleship. ye must words of his former threat which he now repeats again. doubt your own Christianity, for ye are the fruits of 3. Since-The reason why he will not spare: Since ye my apostleship. 7. I pray-The oldest MSS. read," we challenge me to give a "proof” that Christ speaks in pray." not that we should appear approved-not to gain me. It would be better if ye would "prove your own credit for ourselves, your ministers, by your Christian selves" (n. 6). This disproves the assertion of some conduct; but for your good. (ALFORD.) The antithesis that Scripture nowhere asserts the infallibility of its to "reprobates" leads me to prefer explaining with writers when writing it. which-"who" (Christ), is BENGEL, “ We do not pray that we may appear apnot weak-in relation to you, by me and in this very proved," by restraining you when ye do evil: "but epistle, in exercising upon you strong discipline. that ye should do what is right” (English Version, mighty in yog--has given many proofs of His power in "honest"). though we be as reprobates--though we be miracles, and even in punishing offenders (ch. 5. 11, thereby deprived of the occasion for exercising our 20, 21). Ye have no need to put me to the proof in this, apostolic power (viz., in punishing, and so may appear as long ago Christ has exhibited great proofs of His "as reprobates" (incapable of affording proof of Christ power by me among you (ch, 12, 12). (GROTIUS.) It is speaking in us). 8. Our apostolic power is given us therefore pot me, but Christ, whom ye wrong: it is that we may use it not against, but for the furtherHis patience that ye try in despising my admonitions, ance of, the truth. Where you are free from fault, and derogating from my authority. (CALVIN.) 4. I there is no scope for its exercise: and this I desire. Far thoogh-Omitted in some of the oldest MSS. : then be it from me to use it against the innocent, merely in translate, “For He was even crucified," &c. through order to increase my own power (v. 10). 9. are gladweakness--Greek, "from weakness;" i.e., His assumption | Greek," rejoice," when we are weak--having no occasion of our weakness was the source, or necessary condition, for displaying our power, and so seeming “weak," as from which the possibility of His crucifixion flowed being compassed with "infirmities" (ch. 10. 10:11. 29, 30). Hebrews, 2. 14; Philippians, 2. 7, 8). by - Greek, I ge ... stroug-"mighty" in faith and the fruits of the
from: "owing to." the power of God - the Father Spirit, and-Not in the oldest MSS. we wish-Greck. (Romans, 1. 4; 6. 4; Ephesians, 1. 20). weak in himmi.e., "pray for." your perfection-lit.," perfect restoration: in virtue of our union with Him, and after His pat- lit., that of a dislocated limb. C1. v. 11. "Be perfect," terp.weakness predominates in us for a time (exhibited the same Greek word; also in 1 Corinthians, 1. 10. " perin our "infirmities" and weak "bodily presence," ch. fectly joined together;" Ephesians, 4. 12, "the per10. 10; 12. 6, 9, 10; and also in our not putting into im- | fecting of the saints." 10. Therefore-Because I wish mediate exercise our power of punishing offenders, just the "sharpness" to be in my letters rather than in as Christ for a time kept in abeyance His power). we l deeds. (CHRYSOSTOM.) edification...not to destruction shall live with him-not only hereafter with Him, free - for building up...not for casting doron. To "use from our present infirmities, in the resurrection life sharpness" would seem to be casting down, rather than (Philippians, 3. 21), but presently in the exercise of our building up: therefore he prefers not to have to use it. apostolic authority against offenders, which flows to | 11. farewell-meaning in Greek also "rejoice;" thus in us in respect to you from the power oj God, however bidding farewell he returns to the point with which "weak" we now seem to you. "With Him," i.e., even he set out, "we are helpers of your joy" (ch. 1. 21 ; as He now exercises His power in His glorified resur- Philippians, 4. 4). Be perfect-Become perfect by fillrection life, after His weakness for a time. 5. Examine | ing up what is lacking in your Christian character -Greek, "Try (make trial of yourselves." prove your (Ephesians, 4. 13). be of good comfort-(ch. 1. 6; 7. 8-13; own selves-This should be your first aim, rather than 1 Thessalonians, 4. 18.) 14. The benediction which ** seeking a proof of Christ speaking in me" (v. 3). your proves the doctrine of the Divine Trinity in unity. own selves-I need not speak much in proof of Christ "The grace of Christ" comes first, for it is only by being in me, your minister (v. 3), for if ye try your it we come to "the love of God" the Father (John, 14, 6). oron seloes ye will see that Christ is also in you The variety in the order of Persons proves that "in [CHRYSOSTOM.) (Romans, 8. 10). Finding Christ this Trinity none is afore or after other." (Athanas. dwelling in yourselves by faith, ye may well believe | Creed.] communion--joint fellowship, or participation, that He speaks in me, by whose ministry ye have re in the same Holy Ghost, which joins in one Catholic ceived this faith. (ESTIUS.) To doubt it would be the Church, His temple, both Jews and Gentiles. Whosin of Israel, who, after so many miracles and experi | ever has "the fellowship of the Holy Ghost," has also mental proofs of God's presence, still cried (Exodus, "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," and "the love 17. 7). "Is the Lord among us or not" (cf. Mark, 8. 11) ? | of God;" and vice versa. For the three are inseparable. except se be reprobates - The Greek softens the expres as the three Persons of the Trinity itself. (CHRYSOS. sion, "somewhat reprobates," i.e., not abiding the TOM.) The doctrine of the Trinity was not revealed "proof (alluding to the same word in the context); clearly and fully till Christ came, and the whole scheme failing when tested. Image from metals (Jeremiah, of our redemption was manifested in Him, and we 6.30: Daniel, 5. 27; Romans, 1. 28). 6. we...not repro | know the Holy Three in One more in their relations to bates-not unable to abide the " proof" to which ye put us (as set forth summarily in this benediction), than us (8. 6). "I trust that" your own Christianity will be in their mutual relations to one another (Deuterorecognised by you (observe. " ye shall know," answers | nomy. 29. 29). Amen - Omitted in the oldest MSS. to know your own selves," 0.5) as suflicient "proof" | Probably added subsequently for the exigencies of that we are not reprobates, but that “Christ speaks public joint worship.
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE
ITHE internal and exterpal evidence for St Paul's authorship is conclusive. The style is characteristically Pagline. The
1 superscription, and allusions to the apostle of the Gentiles in the first person, throughout the epistle, establish the same truth ich, 1, 1, 13-24; 2. 1-14). His authorship is also upheld by the unanimous testimony of the ancient church, cf. Irenæus adversus Harcses, 3. 7.9 (Galatians, 3. 19); Polycarp Philippians, cn. 8) quotes Galatians, 26, and 6. 7; Justin Martyr, or whoever wrote the Oratio ad Grecos, alludes to Galatians, 4. 12, and 3. 20.
The epistle was written *TO THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA" (ch. 1.), a district of Asia Minor, bordering on Phrygia, Pontus, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Paphlagonia. The inhabitants (Gallo-graeci, contracted into Galati, another form of the name Kelts) were Gauis in origin, the latter having overrun Asia Minor, after they had pillaged Delphi, alout B.C. 280, and at last permanently settled in the central parts, thence called Gallogracia or Galatia. Their character, as shown in this epistle, is in entire consonance with that ascribed to the Gallio race by all writers. Cæsar, B, G., 4. 5. "The infirmity of the Gauls is that they are fickle in their resolves and fond of change, and not to be trusted." So Thierry [quoted by Alford)." Frank, impetuous, impressible, eminently intelligent, but at the same time extremely changeable, inconstant, fond of show, perpetually quarrelling, the fruit of excessive vanity." They received St. Paul at first with all joy and kindness; but soon warered in their allegiance to the gospel and to him, and bearkened as eagerly now to Judaizing teachers, as they had before to him (ch. 4. 14-16). The apostle himself had been the first preacher arnong them (Acts, 16. 6; Galatians, 1.8; 4. 13 (see Note; "on account of infirmity of flesh I preached unto you at the first:" implying that sickness detained him among them), 19); and had then probably founded churches, which at his subsequent visit ne "strengthened ** in the faith (Acts, 18. 93). His first visit was about A.D. 51, during his second missionary journey. Josephus, Antiqdilies, 26. 62, testifies that many Jews resided in Ancyra in Galatia. Among these and their torethren, doubtless, 29 elsewhere, he began his preaching. And though subsequently the mnjority in the Galatian churches were Gentiles (ch, 48, 9), yet these were soon infected by Judgiding teachers, and almost suffered themselves to be persuaded to undergo circumcision (ch 1. 3.1, 3; 5. 9, 3; 6. 19, 13). Accustomed as the Galatians had been, when heathen, to the mystic worship of Cybele (prevalent in the neighbouring region of Phyrgia), and the theosophistic doctrines connected with that worship, they were the more readily led to believe that the full privileges of Christianity could only be attained through an elaborate system of ceremonial symbolisin (eb. 4. 9-11; 5.7-12). They even gave ear to the insinuation that Paul himself observed the law among the Jews, though he persuaded the Gentiles to renounce it, and that his motive was to keep his converts in a subordinate state, excluded from the full privileges of Christianity, which were enjoyed by the circumcised alone. Ch. 5. 11; 4 16. of, with 2 17; and that in "becoming all things to all men," he was an interested flatterer (ch, 1. 10), aiming at forming a party for himself: moreover, that he falsely represented himself as an apostle divinely commissioned by Christ, whereas be was but a messenger sent by the Twelve and the church at Jerusalem, and that his teaching was now at variance with that of St Peter and James, " pillars of the church, and therefore ought not to be accepted.
Bis PURPOSE, then, in writing this epistle was (1.) to defend his apostolic authority (ch. 1, 11-19; 2 1-14); (2) to counteract the evil influence of the Judaizers in Galatia (ch. 3. and 4.), and to show that their doctrine destroyed the very esaence of Christianity, by lowering its spirituality to an outward ceremonial system ; (3.) to give exhortation for the strengthening of Galatian believers in faith towards Christ, and in the fruits of the Spirit (ch. 5. and 6.). He had already face to face, testified against the Judaizing teachers (ch. 1. 9; 4. 18, Acts, 18 23); and now that he has beard of the continged and increasing prevalence of the evil, he writes with his own hand (ch. 6. 11: a labour which he usually delegated to an amanuensis) this epistle to oppose it. The sketch he gives in it of his apostolic career confirms and expands the account in Acts, and shows his independence of human authority, however exalted. His protest against Peter in ch.2 1421. d sproves the figment, not merely of papal, but even of that apostle's supremacy; and shows that Peter, save when specially inspired, was fallible like other men.
There is enuch in common between this epistle and that to the Romans on the subject of justification by faith only, and not by the law. But the epistle to the Romans handles the subject in a didactic and logical mode, without any special reference: this epistle, in a controversial manner, and with special reference to the Judaizers in Galatia.
The STYLE combines the two extremes, steroness (ch. 1.; 3. 1-5) and tenderness (ch. 4. 19, 20), the characteristics of man of strong emotions, and both alike well suited for acting on an impressible people such as the Galatians were The beginning is abrupt, as was suited to the urgency of the question and the greatness of the danger. A tone of sadness, too, is apparent, such as might be expected in the letter of a warın-hearted teacher who had just learned, that those whorn he loved, were forsaking his teachings for those of perverters of the truth, as well as giving ear to calumnies against himself
The TIME OF WRITING was Uter the visit to Jerusalem recorded in Acts, 15. 1&c, 1., A.D. 50, if that visit be, as seems pribale, identical with that in ch. 2 I. &c. Further, as ch. 1,9" as we said before"), and 4. 16 ("Hare (Alord) I become your enemy pe* 12., at my second visit, wbereas I was welcomed by you at my first visit), refer to his second visit
Acts, 18. 2.), this epistle must have been written after the date of that visit (the autumn of A.D. 54). Ch. 4. 13, "Te know how...I preached...at the first" (Greek, " at the former time"), implies that Paul, at the time of writing, had been trio in Galatia ; and ch. 1. 6." I marvel that ye are so soon removed," implies that he wrote not long after having left Galatia for the second time; probably in the early part of his residence at Ephesus (Acts, 18. 93; 19. 1, &c., from A.D. 54, the autumn, to A.D. 57, Pentecost). (Alford.) Conybeare & Howson, from the similarity between this epistle and that to the Romans, the same line of argument in both occupying the writer's mind, think it was not written till his stay ał Corinth (Acts, 2, 3), during the winter of 57-8, whence he wrote his epostle to the Romans; and certainly, in the theory of the earlier writing of it from Ephesus, it does seem unlikely that the two epistles to the Corinthians so dissimilar, should intervene between those so similar as the epistles to the Galatians and Romans; or that the epistle to the Galatians should intervene between the second to the Thessalonians and the first to the Corinthians. The decision between the two theories rests on the words, “50 soon." If these be not considered inconsistent with little more than three years having elapsed since his second visit to Galatia, the argument, from the similarity to the epistle to the Romans, seems to me conclusive This to the Galatians seems written on the urgency of the occasion, tidings having reached him at Corinth fron Epliesas of