Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 2:2 - 2:2

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Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 2:2 - 2:2

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

By revelation (κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν)

It was specially and divinely revealed to me that I should go. In what way, he does not state.

Communicated (ἀνεθέμην)

Only here and Act 25:14. Ἀνά up, τιθέναι to set. To set up a thing for the consideration of others: to lay it before them.

Unto them (αὐτοῖς)

The Christians of Jerusalem generally.

Privately (κατ' ἰδίαν)

The general communication to the Jerusalem Christians was accompanied by a private consultation with the leaders. Not that a different subject was discussed in private, but that the discussion was deeper and more detailed than would have befitted the whole body of Christians.

To them which were of reputation (τοῖς δοκοῦσιν)

Lit. to those who seem; are reputed. Men of recognized position, James, Cephas, John. Not his adversaries who were adherents of these three. It is not to be supposed that he would submit his gospel to such. The expression is therefore not used ironically. Paul recognizes the honorable position of the three and their rightful claim to respect. The repetition of the phrase (Gal 2:6, Gal 2:9) may point to a favorite expression of his opponents in commending these leaders to Paul as models for his preaching; hardly (as Lightfoot) to the contrast between the estimation in which they were held and the actual services which they rendered to him. He chooses this expression because the matter at stake was his recognition by the earlier apostles, and any ironical designation would be out of place.

Lest by any means I should run or had run in vain

Better, should be running. Comp. Phi 2:16. This is sometimes explained as implying a misgiving on Paul's part as to the soundness of his own teaching, which he desired to have set at rest by the decision of the principal apostles. On this explanation μή πως will be rendered lest in some way or other. But such a misgiving is contrary to Paul's habitual attitude of settled conviction respecting that gospel which he had received by revelation, and in the preaching of which he had been confirmed by experience. In consulting the Christians at Jerusalem Paul had principally in view the formal indorsement of his work by the church and its leaders. Their formal declaration that he had not been running in vain would materially aid him in his mission. Μή πως is therefore to be taken as marking an indirect question, whether - not possibly; and the sense of the whole passage is as follows: “I laid before them that gospel which I preach to the Gentiles, that they might examine and settle for themselves the question whether I am not possibly running or had run in vain.” The investigation was to be for their satisfaction, not for Paul's. Run (τρέχειν) is a favorite metaphor with Paul. See Rom 9:16; 1Co 9:24, 1Co 9:26; Gal 5:7; Phi 2:16; Phi 3:13, Phi 3:14.