Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
HIS CO-ORDINATE AUTHORITY AS APOSTLE OF THE CIRCUMCISION RECOGNIZED BY THE APOSTLES. PROVED BY HIS REBUKING PETER FOR TEMPORIZING AT ANTIOCH: HIS REASONING AS TO THE INCONSISTENCY OF JUDAIZING WITH JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH. (Gal. 2:1-21)
Translate, "After fourteen years"; namely, from Paul's conversion inclusive [ALFORD]. In the fourteenth year from his conversion [BIRKS]. The same visit to Jerusalem as in Acts 15:1-4 (A.D. 50), when the council of the apostles and Church decided that Gentile Christians need not be circumcised. His omitting allusion to that decree is; (1) Because his design here is to show the Galatians his own independent apostolic authority, whence he was not likely to support himself by their decision. Thus we see that general councils are not above apostles. (2) Because he argues the point upon principle, not authoritative decisions. (3) The decree did not go the length of the position maintained here: the council did not impose Mosaic ordinances; the apostle maintains that the Mosaic institution itself is at an end. (4) The Galatians were Judaizing, not because the Jewish law was imposed by authority of the Church as necessary to Christianity, but because they thought it necessary to be observed by those who aspired to higher perfection (Galatians 3:3; Galatians 4:21). The decree would not at all disprove their view, and therefore would have been useless to quote. Paul meets them by a far more direct confutation, "Christ is of no effect unto you whosoever are justified by the law" (Galatians 5:4), [PALEY].
Titus . . . also—specified on account of what follows as to him, in Galatians 2:3. Paul and Barnabas, and others, were deputed by the Church of Antioch (Acts 15:2) to consult the apostles and elders at Jerusalem on the question of circumcision of Gentile Christians.
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