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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Galatians: Chapter 2)

2:1 {Then after the space of fourteen years I went up again}
(\epeita dia dekatessarōn etōn palin anebēn\) This use of \dia\
for interval between is common enough. Paul is not giving a
recital of his visits to Jerusalem, but of his points of contact
with the apostles in Jerusalem. As already observed, he here
refers to the Jerusalem Conference given by Luke in Ac 15 when
Paul and Barnabas were endorsed by the apostles and elders and
the church over the protest of the Judaizers who had attacked
them in Antioch (Ac 15:1f.). But Paul passes by another visit
to Jerusalem, that in Ac 11:30 when Barnabas and Saul brought
alms from Antioch to Jerusalem and delivered them to "the elders"
with no mention of the apostles who were probably out of the city
since the events in Ac 12 apparently preceded that visit and
Peter had left for another place (Ac 12:17). Paul here gives
the inside view of this private conference in Jerusalem that came
in between the two public meetings (Ac 15:4,6-29). {With
(\meta Barnabā\). As in Ac 15:2. {Taking Titus also
with me}
(\sunparalabōn kai Titon\). Second aorist active
participle of \sunparalambanō\ the very verb used in Ac 15:37f.
of the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas about Mark. Titus
is not mentioned in Acts 15 nor anywhere else in Acts for some
reason, possibly because he was Luke's own brother. But his very
presence was a challenge to the Judaizers, since he was a Greek

2:2 {By revelation} (\kata apokalupsin\). In Ac 15:2 the church
sent them. But surely there is no inconsistency here. {I laid
before them}
(\anethemēn autois\). Second aorist middle
indicative of old word \anatithēmi\, to put up, to place before,
with the dative case. But who were the "them" (\autois\)?
Evidently not the private conference for he distinguishes this
address from that, "but privately" (\kat' idian\). Just place Ac
15:4f. beside the first clause and it is clear: "I laid before
them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles," precisely as
Luke has recorded. Then came the private conference after the
uproar caused by the Judaizers (Ac 15:5). {Before them who were
of repute}
(\tois dokousin\). He names three of them (Cephas,
James, and John)
. James the Lord's brother, for the other James
is now dead (Ac 12:1f.). But there were others also, a select
group of real leaders. The decision reached by this group would
shape the decision of the public conference in the adjourned
meeting. So far as we know Paul had not met John before, though
he had met Peter and James at the other visit. Lightfoot has much
to say about the Big Four (St. Paul and the Three) who here
discuss the problems of mission work among Jews and Gentiles. It
was of the utmost importance that they should see eye to eye. The
Judaizers were assuming that the twelve apostles and James the
Lord's brother would side with them against Paul and Barnabas.
Peter had already been before the Jerusalem Church for his work
in Caesarea (Ac 11:1-18). James was considered a very loyal
Jew. {Lest by any means I should be running or had run in vain}
(\mē pōs eis kenon trechō ē edramon\). Negative purpose with the
present subjunctive (\trechō\) and then by a sudden change the
aorist indicative (\edramon\), as a sort of afterthought or
retrospect (Moulton, _Prolegomena_, p. 201; Robertson, _Grammar_,
p. 988)
. There are plenty of classical parallels. See also 1Th
3:5 for both together again.

2:3 {Being a Greek} (\Hellēn ōn\). Concessive participle, though
he was a Greek. {Was compelled to be circumcised} (\ēnagkasthē
. First aorist passive indicative of \anagkazō\
and first aorist passive infinitive of \peritemnō\. Curiously
enough some scholars interpret this language to mean that Paul
voluntarily had Titus circumcised, instead of being compelled to
do it, an impossible view in my opinion in the light of verse 5
and wholly inconsistent with the whole context. Paul means that
he stood his ground against compulsion and all force.

2:4 {But because of the false brethren privately brought in}
(\dia de tous pareisaktous pseudadelphous\). Late verbal
adjective \pareisaktos\ from the double compound verb
\pareisagō\, found in papyri in the sense of brought in by the
side or on the sly as here. Evidently some of the Judaizers or
sympathizers whom Paul had not invited had come in as often
happens. Paul terms them "false brethren" like "the false
apostles" in 2Co 11:13 of the Judaizers in Corinth. {Who came
in privily}
(\hoitines pareisēlthon\). Repetition of the charge
of their slipping in unwanted (\pareiserchomai\, late double
compound, in Plutarch, in N.T. only here and Ro 5:20)
. {To spy
(\kataskopēsai\). First aorist active infinitive of
\kataskopeō\, old Greek verb from \kataskopos\, a spy, to
reconnoitre, to make a treacherous investigation. {That they
might bring us into bondage}
(\hina hēmas katadoulōsousin\).
Future active indicative of this old compound, to enslave
completely (\kata-\) as in 2Co 11:20. Nowhere else in N.T. This
was their purpose (\hina\ and future active indicative of this
causative verb)
. It was as serious a conflict as this. Spiritual
liberty or spiritual bondage, which?

2:5 {No, not for an hour} (\oude pros hōran\). Pointed denial
that he and Barnabas yielded at all "in the way of subjection"
(\tēi hupotagēi\, in the subjection demanded of them). The
compromisers pleaded for the circumcision of Titus "because of
the false brethren" in order to have peace. The old verb \eikō\,
to yield, occurs here alone in the N.T. See 2Co 9:13 for
\hupotagē\. {The truth of the gospel} (\hē alētheia tou
. It was a grave crisis to call for such language.
The whole problem of Gentile Christianity was involved in the
case of Titus, whether Christianity was to be merely a modified
brand of legalistic Judaism or a spiritual religion, the true
Judaism (the children of Abraham by faith). The case of Timothy
later was utterly different, for he had a Jewish mother and a
Greek father. Titus was pure Greek.

2:6 {Somewhat} (\ti\). Something, not somebody. Paul refers to
the Big Three (Cephas, James, and John). He seems a bit
embarrassed in the reference. He means no disrespect, but he
asserts his independence sharply in a tangled sentence with two
parentheses (dashes in Westcott and Hort). {Whatsoever they were}
(\hopoioi pote ēsan\). Literally, "What sort they once were."
{Hopoioi} is a qualitative word (1Th 1:9; 1Co 3:13; Jas 1:24).
Lightfoot thinks that these three leaders were the ones who
suggested the compromise about Titus. That is a possible, but not
the natural, interpretation of this involved sentence. The use of
\de\ (but) in verse 6 seems to make a contrast between the
three leaders and the pleaders for compromise in verses 4f.
{They, I say, imparted nothing to me} (\emoi gar ouden
. He starts over again after the two parentheses
and drops the construction \apo tōn dokountōn\ and changes the
construction (anacoluthon) to \hoi dokountes\ (nominative case),
the men of reputation and influences whom he names in verses
8f. See the same verb in 1:16. They added nothing in the
conference to me. The compromisers tried to win them, but they
finally came over to my view. Paul won his point, when he
persuaded Peter, James, and John to agree with him and Barnabas
in their contention for freedom for the Gentile Christians from
the bondage of the Mosaic ceremonial law.

2:7 {But contrariwise} (\alla tounantion\). But on the contrary
(accusative of general reference, \to enantion\). So far from the
three championing the cause of the Judaizers as some hoped or
even the position of the compromisers in verses 4f., they came
boldly to Paul's side after hearing the case argued in the
private conference. This is the obvious interpretation rather
than the view that Peter, James, and John first proposed the
circumcision of Titus and afterwards surrendered to Paul's bold
stand. {When they saw} (\idontes\). After seeing, after they
heard our side of the matter. {That I had been intrusted with the
gospel of the uncircumcision}
(\hoti pepisteumai to euaggelion
tēs akrobustias\)
. Perfect passive indicative of \pisteuō\, to
intrust, which retains the accusative of the thing (\to
in the passive voice. This clear-cut agreement
between the leaders "denotes a distinction of sphere, and not a
difference of type" (Lightfoot). Both divisions in the work
preach the same "gospel" (not like 1:6f., the Judaizers). It
seems hardly fair to the Three to suggest that they at first
championed the cause of the Judaizers in the face of Paul's
strong language in verse 5.

2:8 {He that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the
(\ho gar energēsas Petrōi eis apostolēn tēs
. Paul here definitely recognizes Peter's leadership
(apostleship, \apostolēn\, late word, already in Ac 1:25; 1Co
to the Jews and asserts that Peter acknowledges his
apostleship to the Gentiles. This is a complete answer to the
Judaizers who denied the genuineness of Paul's apostleship
because he was not one of the twelve.

2:9 {They who were reputed to be pillars} (\hoi dokountes stuloi
. They had that reputation (\dokountes\) and Paul accepts
them as such. \Stuloi\, old word for pillars, columns, as of fire
(Re 10:1). So of the church (1Ti 3:15). These were the Pillar
Apostles. {Gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship}
(\dexias edōkan emoi kai Barnabāi koinōnias\). Dramatic and
concluding act of the pact for cooperation and coordinate,
independent spheres of activity. The compromisers and the
Judaizers were brushed to one side when these five men shook
hands as equals in the work of Christ's Kingdom.

2:10 {Only} (\monon\). One item was emphasized. {We should
(\mnēmoneuōmen\). Present active subjunctive, "that we
should keep on remembering." {Which very thing} (\ho--auto
. Repetition of relative and demonstrative, tautology,
"which this very thing." In fact Barnabas and Saul had done it
before (Ac 11:30). It was complete victory for Paul and
Barnabas. Paul passes by the second public meeting and the
letters to Antioch (Ac 15:6-29) and passes on to Peter's
conduct in Antioch.

2:11 {I resisted him to the face} (\kata prosōpon autōi
. Second aorist active indicative (intransitive) of
\anthistēmi\. "I stood against him face to face." In Jerusalem
Paul faced Peter as his equal in rank and sphere of work. In
Antioch he looked him in the eye as his superior in character and
courage. {Because he stood condemned} (\hoti kategnōsmenos ēn\).
Periphrastic past perfect passive of \kataginoskō\, old verb to
know against, to find fault with. In N.T. only here and 1Jo

2:12 {For before that certain came from James} (\pro tou gar
elthein tinas apo Iakōbou\)
. The reason (\gar\) for Paul's
condemnation of Peter. Articular infinitive in the genitive after
\pro\ with the accusative of general reference (\tinas\), "for
before the coming as to some from James." Does Paul mean to say
that these "certain" ones had been sent by James to Antioch to
inspect the conduct of Peter and the other Jewish brethren? Some
scholars think so. No doubt these brethren let the idea get out
that they were emissaries "from James." But that idea is
inconsistent with the position of James as president of the
conference and the author of the resolution securing liberty to
the Gentile Christians. No doubt these brethren threatened Peter
to tell James and the church about his conduct and they reminded
Peter of his previous arraignment before the Jerusalem Church on
this very charge (Ac 11:1-18). As a matter of fact the
Jerusalem Conference did not discuss the matter of social
relations between Jews and Gentiles though that was the charge
made against Peter (Ac 11:1ff.). {He did eat with the Gentiles}
(\meta tōn ethnōn sunēsthien\). It was his habit (imperfect
. {He drew back} (\hupestellen\). Imperfect tense,
inchoative action, "he began to draw himself (\heauton\) back."
Old word \hupostellō\. See middle voice to dissemble (Ac
, to shrink (Heb 10:38). {Separated himself}
(\aphōrizen heauton\). Inchoative imperfect again, "began to
separate himself" just like a Pharisee (see on ¯1:15) and as if
afraid of the Judaizers in the Jerusalem Church, perhaps half
afraid that James might not endorse what he had been doing.
{Fearing them that were of the circumcision} (\phoboumenos tous
ek peritomēs\)
. This was the real reason for Peter's cowardice.
See Ac 11:2 for "\hoi ek peritomēs\" (they of the
, the very phrase here. It was not that Peter had
changed his views from the Jerusalem resolutions. It was pure
fear of trouble to himself as in the denials at the trial of

2:13 {Dissembled likewise with him} (\sunupekrithēsan autōi
. First aorist passive indicative of the double compound
verb \sunupokrinomai\, a late word often in Polybius, only here
in N.T. One example in Polybius means to pretend to act a part
with. That idea here would help the case of the rest of the Jews,
but does not accord with Paul's presentation. {Insomuch that even
(\hōste kai Barnabas\). Actual result expressed by
\hōste\ and the indicative and \kai\ clearly means "even." {Was
carried away with their dissimulation}
(\sunapēchthē autōn tēi
. First aorist passive indicative of \sunapagō\, old
verb, in N.T. only here and 2Pe 3:17. \Hupokrisei\ is in the
instrumental case and can only mean hypocrisy in the bad sense
(Mt 23:28), not merely acting a part. It was a solemn moment
when Paul saw the Jerusalem victory vanish and even Barnabas
desert him as they followed the timid cowardice of Peter. It was
_Paulus contra mundum_ in the cause of spiritual freedom in

2:14 {But when I saw} (\All' hote eidon\). Paul did see and saw
it in time to speak. {That they walked not uprightly} (\hoti
. Present active indicative retained in indirect
discourse, "they are not walking straight." \Orthopodeō\
(\orthos\, straight, \pous\, foot). Found only here and in later
ecclesiastical writers, though \orthopodes bainontes\ does occur.
{According to the truth of the gospel} (\pros tēn alētheian tou
. Just as in 2:5. Paul brought them to face
(\pros\) that. {I said unto Cephas before them all} (\eipon tōi
Kēphāi emprosthen pantōn\)
. {Being a Jew} (\Ioudaios huparchōn\,
though being a Jew)
. Condition of first class, assumed as true.
It was not a private quarrel, but a matter of public policy. One
is a bit curious to know what those who consider Peter the first
pope will do with this open rebuke by Paul, who was in no sense
afraid of Peter or of all the rest. {As do the Gentiles}
(\ethnikōs\). Late adverb, here only in N.T. Like Gentiles. {As
do the Jews}
(\Ioudaikōs\). Only here in N.T., but in Josephus.
{To live as do the Jews} (\Iouda‹zein\). Late verb, only here in
the N.T. From \Ioudaios\, Jew. Really Paul charges Peter with
trying to compel (conative present, \anagkazeis\) the Gentiles to
live all like Jews, to Judaize the Gentile Christians, the very
point at issue in the Jerusalem Conference when Peter so loyally
supported Paul. It was a bold thrust that allowed no reply. But
Paul won Peter back and Barnabas also. If II Peter is genuine, as
is still possible, he shows it in 2Pe 3:15. Paul and Barnabas
remained friends (Ac 15:39f.; 1Co 9:6), though they soon
separated over John Mark.

2:15 {Not sinners of the Gentiles} (\ouk ex ethnōn hamartōloi\).
The Jews regarded all Gentiles as "sinners" in contrast with
themselves (cf. Mt 26:45 "sinners" and Lu 18:32 "Gentiles").
It is not clear whether verses 15-21 were spoken by Paul to
Peter or whether Paul is now simply addressing the Galatians in
the light of the controversy with Peter. Burton thinks that he is
"mentally addressing Peter, if not quoting from what he said to

2:16 {Is not justified} (\ou dikaioutai\). Present passive
indicative of \dikaioō\, an old causative verb from \dikaios\,
righteous (from \dike\, right), to make righteous, to declare
righteous. It is made like \axioō\, to deem worthy, and \koinoō\,
to consider common. It is one of the great Pauline words along
with \dikaiosunē\, righteousness. The two ways of getting right
with God are here set forth: by faith in Christ Jesus (objective
, by the works of the law (by keeping all the law in the
most minute fashion, the way of the Pharisees)
. Paul knew them
both (see Ro 7). In his first recorded sermon the same contrast
is made that we have here (Ac 13:39) with the same word
\dikaioō\, employed. It is the heart of his message in all his
Epistles. The terms faith (\pistis\), righteousness
(\dikaiosunē\), law (\nomos\), works (\erga\) occur more
frequently in Galatians and Romans because Paul is dealing
directly with the problem in opposition to the Judaizers who
contended that Gentiles had to become Jews to be saved. The whole
issue is here in an acute form. {Save} (\ean mē\). Except. {Even
(\kai hēmeis\). We Jews believed, had to believe, were not
saved or justified till we did believe. This very point Peter had
made at the Jerusalem Conference (Ac 15:10f.). He quotes Ps
143:2. Paul uses \dikaiosunē\ in two senses (1) Justification,
on the basis of what Christ has done and obtained by faith. Thus
we are set right with God. Ro 1-5. (2) Sanctification. Actual
goodness as the result of living with and for Christ. Ro 6-8.
The same plan exists for Jew and Gentile.

2:17 {We ourselves were found sinners} (\heurethēmen kai autoi
. Like the Gentiles, Jews who thought they were not
sinners, when brought close to Christ, found that they were. Paul
felt like the chief of sinners. {A minister of sin} (\hamartias
. Objective genitive, a minister to sin. An illogical
inference. We were sinners already in spite of being Jews. Christ
simply revealed to us our sin. {God forbid} (\mē genoito\).
Literally, "May it not happen." Wish about the future (\mē\ and
the optative)

2:18 {A transgressor} (\parabatēn\). Peter, by his shifts had
contradicted himself helplessly as Paul shows by this condition.
When he lived like a Gentile, he tore down the ceremonial law.
When he lived like a Jew, he tore down salvation by grace.

2:19 {I through the law died to the law} (\egō dia nomou nomōi
. Paradoxical, but true. See Rom 7:4,6 for picture
of how the law waked Paul up to his real death to the law through

2:20 {I have been crucified with Christ} (\Christōi
. One of Paul's greatest mystical sayings. Perfect
passive indicative of \sustauroō\ with the associative
instrumental case (\Christōi\). Paul uses the same word in Ro
6:6 for the same idea. In the Gospels it occurs of literal
crucifixion about the robbers and Christ (Mt 27:44; Mr 15:32;
Joh 19:32)
. Paul died to the law and was crucified with Christ.
He uses often the idea of dying with Christ (Ga 5:24; 6:14; Ro
6:8; Col 2:20)
and burial with Christ also (Ro 6:4; Col 2:12).
{No longer I} (\ouketi egō\). So complete has become Paul's
identification with Christ that his separate personality is
merged into that of Christ. This language helps one to understand
the victorious cry in Ro 7:25. It is the union of the vine and
the branch (Joh 15:1-6). {Which is in the Son of God} (\tēi tou
huiou tou theou\)
. The objective genitive, not the faith of the
Son of God. {For me} (\huper emou\). Paul has the closest
personal feeling toward Christ. "He appropriates to himself, as
Chrysostom observes, the love which belongs equally to the whole
world. For Christ is indeed the personal friend of each man
individually" (Lightfoot).

2:21 {I do not make void the grace of God} (\ouk athetō tēn
charin tou theou\)
. Common word in LXX and Polybius and on, to
make ineffective (\a\ privative and \tithēmi\, to place or put).
Some critic would charge him with that after his claim to such a
close mystic union with Christ. {Then Christ died for nought}
(\ara Christos dōrean apethanen\). Condition of first class,
assumed as true. If one man apart from grace can win his own
righteousness, any man can and should. Hence (\ara\, accordingly)
Christ died gratuitously (\dōrean\), unnecessarily. Adverbial
accusative of \dōrea\, a gift. This verse is a complete answer to
those who say that the heathen (or any mere moralist) are saved
by doing the best that they know and can. No one, apart from
Jesus, ever did the best that he knew or could. To be saved by
law (\dia nomou\) one has to keep all the law that he knows. That
no one ever did.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Galatians: Chapter 2)