But contrariwise - They were so far from wishing me to alter my plan, or to introduce any thing new in my doctrine to the Gentiles, that they saw plainly that my doctrine was the same as their own, coming immediately from the same source; and therefore gave to me and to Barnabas the right hand of fellowship.
The Gospel of the uncircumcision - They saw, to their utmost satisfaction, that I was as expressly sent by God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, as Peter was to preach it to the Jews.
The gospel of the uncircumcision - The duty of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised part of the world; that is, to the Gentiles Paul had received this as his unique office when he was converted and called to the ministry (see Acts 9:15; Acts 22:21); and they now perceived that he had been specially intrusted with this office, from the remarkable success which had attended his labors. It is evidently not meant here that Paul was to preach only to the Gentiles and Peter only to the Jews, for Paul often preached in the synagogues of the Jews, and Peter was the first who preached to a Gentile Acts 10; but it is meant that it was the main business of Paul to preach to the Gentiles, or that this was especially entrusted to him.
As the gospel of the circumcision - As the office of preaching the gospel to the Jews.
Was unto Peter - Peter was to preach principally to the circumcised Jews. It is evident that until this time Peter had been principally employed in preaching to the Jews. Paul selects Peter here particularly, doubtless because he was the oldest of the apostles, and in order to show that he was himself regarded as on a level in regard to the apostleship with the most aged and venerable of those who had been called to the apostolic office by the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus.
6, 7. Trouble in Galatia—In almost every church there were some members who were Jews by birth. To these converts the Jewish teachers found ready access, and through them gained a foothold in the churches. It was impossible, by scriptural arguments, to overthrow the doctrines taught by Paul; hence they resorted to the most unscrupulous measures to counteract his influence and weaken his authority. They declared that he had not been a disciple of Jesus, and had received no commission from Him; yet he had presumed to teach doctrines directly opposed to those held by Peter, James, and the other apostles. Thus the emissaries of Judaism succeeded in alienating many of the Christian converts from their teacher in the gospel. Having gained this point, they induced them to return to the observance of the ceremonial law as essential to salvation. Faith in Christ, and obedience to the law of ten commandments, were regarded as of minor importance. Division, heresy, and sensualism were rapidly gaining ground among the believers in Galatia. 6BC 1108.1Read in context »