Which is not another - It is called a gospel, but it differs most essentially from the authentic narratives published by the evangelists. It is not gospel, i.e. good tidings, for it loads you again with the burdens from which the genuine Gospel has disencumbered you. Instead of giving you peace, it troubles you; instead of being a useful supplement to the Gospel of Christ, it perverts that Gospel. You have gained nothing but loss and damage by the change.
Which is not another - There is also a great variety of views in regard to the meaning of this expression. Tyndale translates it: “which is nothing else but there be some that trouble you.” Locke, “which is not owing to anything else but only this, that ye are troubled with a certain sort of people who would overturn the gospel of Christ.” But Rosenmuller, Koppe, Bloomfield, and others, give a different view; and according to them the sense is, “which, however, is not another gospel, nor indeed the gospel at all, or true,” etc. According to this, the design was to state, that what they taught had none of the elements or characteristics of the gospel. It was a different system, and one which taught an entirely different method of justification before God. It seems to me that this is the true sense of the passage, and that Paul means to teach them that the system, though it was called the gospel, was essentially different from that which he had taught, and which consisted in simple reliance on Christ for salvation. The system which they taught, was in fact the Mosaic system; the Jewish mode, depending on the rites and ceremonies of religion; and which, therefore, did not deserve to be called the gospel. It would lead them again with burdensome rites, and with cumbrous institutions, from which it was the great purpose of the gospel to relieve them.
But there be some that trouble you - Though this is most manifestly another system, and not the gospel at all, yet there are some persons who are capable of giving trouble and of unsettling your minds, by making it plausible. They pretend that they have come direct front the apostles at Jerusalem; that they have received their instructions from them, and that they preach the true gospel as they teach it. They pretend that Paul was called into the office of an apostle after them; that he had never seen the Lord Jesus; that he had derived his information only from others; and thus they are able to present a plausible argument, and to unsettle the minds of the Galatians.
And would pervert - That is, the tendency of their doctrine is wholly to turn away ( μεταστρέψαι metastrepsai), to destroy, or render useless the gospel of Christ. It would lead to the denial of the necessity of dependence on the merits of the Lord Jesus for salvation, and would substitute dependence on rites and ceremonies. This does not of necessity mean that such was the design of their teaching, for they might have been in the main honest; but that such was the tendency and result of their teaching. It would lead people to rely on the Mosaic rites for salvation.
Many of the ministers will not hear and be convinced. They will not enter the sanctuary of truth to receive the knowledge of truth from the Word, but will take away the key of knowledge from the people by perversion of the Scriptures, wresting the Word of God from its true meaning. Thus every step gained in reaching the people to save them from being lost in error and disobedience requires a hard, constant battle. But shall it stop? No. Lift up the standard. Plant memorials of God's truth in every place possible, work in new territories, and conversions will be made. Some who do not take their stand at once will help advance the work with their means and their sympathy, and will themselves take their position on the Lord's side.... God will have representatives in every place in all parts of the world.—Letter 86, June 19, 1900, to A. G. Daniells. TDG 179.5Read in context »
This chapter is based on the Epistle to the Galatians.
While tarrying at Corinth, Paul had cause for serious apprehension concerning some of the churches already established. Through the influence of false teachers who had arisen among the believers in Jerusalem, division, heresy, and sensualism were rapidly gaining ground among the believers in Galatia. These false teachers were mingling Jewish traditions with the truths of the gospel. Ignoring the decision of the general council at Jerusalem, they urged upon the Gentile converts the observance of the ceremonial law. AA 383.1Read in context »
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 »