Galatians Chapter 1
From The Open Bible Project
Paul's Letter to the Galatians
1:1 Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),
- (1) A salutation which puts in a few words the sum of the apostle’s doctrine, and also immediately from the beginning shows the gravity appropriate for the authority of an apostle, which he had to maintain against the false apostles.
- (a) He shows who is the author of the ministry generally: for in this the whole ministry agrees, that whether they are apostles, or shepherds, or teachers, they are appointed by God.
- (b) He mentions that man is not the instrumental cause: for this is a special right of the apostles, to be called directly from Christ.
- (c) Christ no doubt is man, but he is also God, and head of the Church, and in this respect to be exempted out of the number of men.
1:2 and all the  brothers [See Galatians Footnotes 1] who are with me, to the assemblies of Galatia:
1:3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,
1:4 who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father--
- (2) The sum of the true Gospel is this, that Christ by his offering alone saves us who are chosen out of the world, by the free decree of God the Father.
- (d) Out of that most corrupt state which is without Christ.
1:5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
1:6 I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different "good news";
- (3) The first part of the epistle, in which he witnesses that he is an apostle, nothing inferior to those chief disciples of Christ, and wholly agreeing with them, whose names the false apostles abused. And he begins with chiding, reproving them of unsteadiness, because they gave ear so easily to those who perverted them and drew them away to a new gospel.
- (e) He uses the passive voice to cast the fault upon the false apostles, and he uses the present voice to show them that it was not completely done, but in the process of being done.
1:7 and there isn't another "good news." Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the Good News of Christ.
- (4) He warns them in time to remember that there are not many Gospels; and therefore whatever these false apostles pretend who had the Law, Moses, and the fathers in their mouths, yet these ones had indeed corrupted the true Gospel. And he himself, indeed, also the very angels themselves (and therefore much more these false apostles) ought to be held accursed, if they go about to change the least thing that may be in the Gospel that he delivered to them before.
- (f) For there is nothing more contrary to faith or free justification, than justification by the Law or by deeds.
1:8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any "good news" other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.
- (g) See (Romans 9:3).
1:9 As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any "good news" other than that which you received, let him be cursed.
1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn't be a servant of Christ.
- (5) A confirmation taken both from the nature of the doctrine itself, and also from the manner which he used in teachings. For neither, he says, did I teach those things which pleased men, as these men do who put part of salvation in external things, and works of the Law, neither went I about to procure any man’s favour. And therefore the matter itself shows that that doctrine which I delivered to you is heavenly.
- (h) He refers to the false apostles, who had nothing but flattery in their mouths for men, and he, though he would not detract from the apostles, preaches God, and not to please men.
1:11 But I make known to you, brothers, concerning the Good News which was preached by me, that it is not according to man.
- (6) A second argument to prove that his doctrine is heavenly, because he had it from heaven, from Jesus Christ himself, without any man’s help, in which he excels those whom Christ taught here on earth after the manner of men.
1:12 For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.
- (i) This passage is about an extraordinary revelation, for otherwise the Son revealed his Gospel only by his Spirit, even though by the ministry of men, which Paul excludes here.
1:13 For you have heard of my way of living in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the assembly of God, and ravaged it.
- (7) He proves that he was extraordinarily taught by Christ himself, by this history of his former life, which the Galatians themselves knew well enough. For, he says, it is well known in what school I was brought up, even from my childhood, that is, among the deadly enemies of the Gospel. And no man may raise a frivolous objection and say that I was a scholar of the Pharisees in name only, and not in deed, for no man is ignorant of how I excelled in Pharisaism, and was suddenly changed from a Pharisee to an apostle of the Gentiles, so that I had no time to be instructed by men.
1:14 I advanced in the Jews' religion beyond many of my own age among my countrymen, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
- (k) He calls them the traditions of his fathers, because he was not only a Pharisee himself, but also had a Pharisee for his father.
1:15 But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me through his grace,
- (l) He speaks of God’s everlasting predestination, by which he appointed him to be an apostle, of which he makes three distinctions: the everlasting council of God, his appointing from his mother’s womb, and his calling. And we see that there is no mention at all of foreseen works.
1:16 to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I didn't immediately confer with flesh and blood,
- (m) To me, and this is a type of speech which the Hebrews use, by which it shows us that this gift comes from God.
- (8) He says this because it might be objected that he was indeed called by Christ in the way, but afterward was instructed by the apostles and others (whose names, as I said before, the false apostles abused to destroy his apostleship), as though he delivered another Gospel than they did, and as though he were not of their number, who are to be credited without exception. Therefore, Paul answers that he began immediately after his calling to preach the Gospel at Damascus and in Arabia, and was not from that time in Jerusalem except for fifteen days, when he saw only Peter and James. And afterwards, he began to teach in Syria and Cilicia, with the consent and approval of the churches of the Jews, who knew him only by name: so far off was it, that he was there instructed by men.
- (n) With any man in the world.
1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus.
1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days.
1:19 But of the other apostles I saw no one, except James, the Lord's brother.
1:20 Now about the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I'm not lying.
- (o) This is a type of an oath.
1:21 Then I came to the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
1:22 I was still unknown by face to the assemblies of Judea which were in Christ,
1:23 but they only heard: "He who once persecuted us now preaches the faith that he once tried to destroy."
- (p) The doctrine of faith.
1:24 And they glorified God in me.