Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Galatians 2:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Those who seemed to be somewhat - Των δοκουντων ειναι τι· Those who were of acknowledged reputation; so the words should be understood, see Galatians 2:2. The verb δοκειν, to seem, is repeatedly used by the best Greek writers, not to call the sense in question, or to lessen it, but to deepen and extend it. See the note on Luke 8:18. Perhaps this verse had best be translated thus, connecting διαφερει with απο των δοκουντων· But there is no difference between those who were of acknowledged reputation and myself; God accepts no man's person; but, in the conferences which I held with then, they added nothing to me - gave me no new light; did not attempt to impose on me any obligation, because they saw that God had appointed me my work, and that his counsel was with me.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But of those who seemed to be somewhat - See Galatians 2:2. This undoubtedly refers to those who were the most eminent among the apostles at Jerusalem. There is an apparent harshness in our common translation which is unnecessary. The word used here ( δοκούντων dokountōn) denotes those who were thought to be, or who were of reputation; that is, men who were of note and influence among the apostles. The object of referring to them here is, to show that he had the concurrence and approbation of the most eminent of the apostles to the course which he had pursued.

Whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me - Tyndale renders this, “What they were in time passed, it maketh no matter to me.” The idea seems to be this. Paul means to say that whatever was their real rank and standing, it did not in the least affect his authority as an apostle, or his argument. While he rejoiced in their concurrence, and while he sought their approbation, yet he did not admit for a moment that he was inferior to them as an apostle, or dependent on them for the justness of his views What they were, or what they might be thought to be, was immaterial to his claims as an apostle, and immaterial to the authority of his own views as an apostle. He had derived his gospel from the Lord Jesus; and he had the fullest assurance that his views were just. Paul makes this remark evidently in keeping with all that he had said, that he did not regard himself as in any manner dependent on them for his authority. He did not treat them with disrespect; but he did not regard them as having a right to claim an authority over him.

God accepteth no man‘s person - See the Acts 10:34 note; Romans 2:11 note. This is a general truth, that God is not influenced in His judgment by a regard to the rank, or wealth, or external condition of anyone. Its particular meaning here is, that the authority of the apostles was not to be measured by their external rank, or by the measure of reputation which they had among men. If, therefore, it were to be admitted that he himself were not in circumstances of so much external honor as the other apostles, or that they were esteemed to be of more elevated rank than he was, still he did not admit that this gave them a claim to any higher authority. God was not influenced in His judgment by any such consideration; and Paul therefore claimed that all the apostles were in fact on a level in regard to their authority.

In conference - When I conferred with them, Galatians 2:2. They did not then impose upon me any new obligations; they did not communicate anything to me of which I was previously ignorant.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Observe the apostle's faithfulness in giving a full account of the doctrine he had preached among the Gentiles, and was still resolved to preach, that of Christianity, free from all mixture of Judaism. This doctrine would be ungrateful to many, yet he was not afraid to own it. His care was, lest the success of his past labours should be lessened, or his future usefulness be hindered. While we simply depend upon God for success to our labours, we should use every proper caution to remove mistakes, and against opposers. There are things which may lawfully be complied with, yet, when they cannot be done without betraying the truth, they ought to be refused. We must not give place to any conduct, whereby the truth of the gospel would be reflected upon. Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them. Perceiving the grace given to him, they gave unto him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, whereby they acknowledged that he was designed to the honour and office of an apostle as well as themselves. They agreed that these two should go to the heathen, while they continued to preach to the Jews; judging it agreeable to the mind of Christ, so to divide their work. Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God's; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this we are to praise God. The apostle showed his charitable disposition, and how ready he was to own the Jewish converts as brethren, though many would scarcely allow the like favour to the converted Gentiles; but mere difference of opinion was no reason to him why he should not help them. Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1108-9

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 1108.1

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