« AnteriorContinuar »
converted, Roм. xvi. 23., ACTS xx. 4.; vide GAIUS in the Index,
they returned again even to Lystra now without fear, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
ACTs xiv. 22. Confirming the souls of the disciples (of Timothy among the rest), and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23. And when they had ordained elders for them in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they (the two apostles) commended them to the Lord, on whom they had fixed their belief.
24. And after they had thus passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
25. And when they had preached the word in Perga,
which apparently they had not done, when they first passed through that place, A. xiii. 13, 14. — they went down into Attalia, that maritime city of Pamphylia, at which they must have landed on their way, A. xiii., from Paphos to Perga :
26. And thence sailed homeward again to Antioch in Syria, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the great work which they had thus wonderfully fulfilled.
27. And when they were come to that city, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done by their hands, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles also,
- as well those who were already proselytes to the law of Moses, as those who had been heathens entirely up to that time, or in one word, idolatrous Gentiles.
28. And there, at Antioch, the metropolis of Gentile Christianity, they abode long time with the disciples.
Thus ends the first apostolic progress of Paul and Barnabas.
PRIVATE JOURNEY OF PAUL AND BARNABAS WITH TITUS, TO JERUSALEM.
During the long time (not less than three years) that Paul and Barnabas abode with the disciples at Antioch, it seems highly probable at least (H. P. 100, 101.), if not demonstrably true, for reasons which will be more fully assigned in another place (APPENDIX A), that they might go up to Jerusalem, and return to Antioch, at some interval before the journey (recorded in A. xv.) took place which produced the apostolic decree.
In that belief, and on the grounds alluded to, the following addition, from the Epistle to the Galatians, is here made to the sacred narrative of the Acts. inasmuch as the passage in the original confessedly labours under some obscurity from the brevity as well as embarrassed style in which several facts of importance are crowded together; instead of presenting the text alone, and subjoining a comment to it, a free and comprehensive paraphrase is here exhibited, as at once better developing the meaning of the apostle.
GALAT. ii. 1...10.
1. Then fourteen years after my conversion, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus also with me, a young man and a converted Gentile.
- Whatever knowledge of Titus in the first stage of his ministerial connection with Paul can be gained or reasonably inferred from the epistles, will be found elsewhere. Vide TITUS in the Index.
2. And I went up directed by especial revelation to announce to the brethren there the wider province of apostolic labour which we had recently undertaken; and with the view to secure their right understanding
in the matter, I communicated to them that gospel which in its immunity from the Jewish law (H. P. 101.) I preach among the Gentiles. But this communication was made privately (or separately) to them of high rank and repute, and not in a public assembly, for fear of any uproar arising, which might invalidate my past and frustrate my future preaching :
GAL. ii. 3. (but far from being so defeated, when it was afterwards vehemently urged as a point for concession, that Titus should be circumcised, I maintained on principle, and with success, his exemption, as being a Greek, from any such token of bondage.)
4. And the better to insure my great object of apostolical unanimity, I observed that precaution of private address; necessary as it was on account of false brethren (Judaising Christians) unawares intruding, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage of the law:
5. To whom, when they made the attempt to gain their point, we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the Gospel in its fulness and freedom might continue unimpaired with you and with all the Gentiles.
6. And even from those brethren, on the other hand, who had reputation and consequence in the church whatsoever they were, it makes no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person-I gained nothing in the way of knowledge or of authority: those persons, I say, of high repute added nothing to me in either way. (See NOTE.)
7. But on the contrary indeed, having clearly seen, from the whole of my late career as an apostle, that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
GAL. ii. 8. (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me towards the Gentiles :)
9. When James (surnamed the Less), Cephas (that is, Peter), and John, who were considered to be pillars of the church, all three being then present, had recognised the peculiar trust graciously committed to my care, they cordially gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen generally, and they unto the circumcision as before.
10. Only they requested, that on our return to Antioch, and while occupied among the Gentiles, we should not forget the poor brethren at Jerusalem with their peculiar claims on our charity: the same thing also which I have since then been forward to do.
PETER REBUKED AT ANTIOCH.
The intercourse betwixt Antioch (the great city of the East) and Jerusalem appears to have been on all accounts very frequent; and as a matter therefore of no unusual occurrence, it is next mentioned by Paul, in writing to the Galatians, that Peter went down soon after this time to Antioch. Even yet the conviction of that apostle's mind was not settled with completeness and certainty as to the full and free admission of the Gentiles to the benefits of the Christian covenant. And in pursuance therefore of his argument, Paul continues the narrative thus:
GALAT. ii. 11...14.
11. But when not long after this conference of ours at Jerusalem (where I rather declared to the apostles
what I had done, than consulted even them on its being done rightly,) Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
GAL. ii. 12. For on his first arrival there, and before certain persons (Jewish believers), came with some message from James (or pretence of one, as A. xv. 1. 24.) about ceremonial conformity, Peter had never scrupled to eat with the converted Gentiles: but after those persons came, he withdrew again, and separated himself, fearing to displease those of the circumcision.
13. And the other believing Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their timidity and dissimulation.
14. But when I, the determined and authorised preacher of Gentile freedom, saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou being a Jew by birth canst yet live (as thou hast done lately) after the manner of Gentiles, in disregarding the distinction of meats, and not as do the Jews (H. P. 106.), who observe that distinction; why wouldest thou now compel the Gentile brethren to live as do the Jews, or else, to please these zealots, withdraw thyself from their company?
PUBLIC MISSION OF PAUL AND BARNABAS TO
ACTS xv. 1. And yet, after all this, certain men which came down from Judea to Antioch, assuming authority on that account (though not in any way authorised, as it afterwards appears, v. 24.), set about to teach the brethren in their stricter way, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved by the gospel.