Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Theophylact: Paul Went to Jerusalem to Correct Others - Not to Check if He was Right

2b. And communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles. By gospel he means his teaching, which did not include circumcision. Why does Paul wait fourteen years before meeting the apostles in Jerusalem to confirm that his preaching of the Gospel was correct? If this were his reason for returning to Jerusalem now, it would indeed be absurd. But Paul perceived that many were scandalized that Peter accepted circumcision while he himself did not, and that they suspected Paul of transgressing the law. And so he went up to Jerusalem by revelation, the Spirit suggesting to him how those who had been offended could be persuaded that there was no discord in the preaching of the two apostle. Those who made allowance for circumcision did so by economy, because they were preaching to the circumcised. Therefore, there was nothing absurd about his going up to Jerusalem. The Spirit moved Paul to go so that others might be corrected, and he obeyed, quite rightly. Theophylact, The Explanation of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Galatians (at Gal. 2:2b), Chrysostom Press (House Springs, Missouri 2011), trans. Christopher Stade, p. 37