SUMMARY.--Greetings. Paul's Wonder That the Galatians had Swerved from the Gospel They Had Received. Anathemas on Those Who Preach Another Gospel. The Gospel Communicated to Paul by Christ Himself. Paul's Early Life. A Persecutor. Christ Revealed. Goes Not Then to Jerusalem. After Three Years, Abode With Peter Fifteen Days. Then Preached in Cilicia.
13, 14. Ye have heard of my manner of life. While he was still a Jew. In order to show that his gospel did not come from man, he cites his history, of which they knew something. I persecuted the church of God. See Acts 9:21 . He made a determined effort to destroy Christianity. Compare Acts 22:4 Acts 26:10 Acts 22:11 . 14. Profited in the Jews' religion. Made progress in it. He was a Pharisee, was well educated, exceedingly zealous, and reached a high degree. Traditions of my fathers. Not only the law of Moses, but the traditions handed down which were taught so assiduously. See Matt. 15:2 Mk 7:3 Mk 7:13 . Our Lord condemned these Jewish traditions.
15-17. But when it pleased God. The language that follows implies that, like Moses, John the Baptist, Isaiah ( Isa. 49:1 ), and Jeremiah ( Jer. 1:5 ), Paul was destined to his work from birth. 16. To reveal his Son in me. It was one thing to call him, as was done on the way to Damascus; another to reveal Christ to him. This was needful that he should be a witness of the resurrection to the Gentiles. I conferred not with flesh and blood. He did not go to men to learn more, or for counsel. 17. Neither went I . . . to them which were apostles. He did not seek those who were apostles before him at Jerusalem to be taught. I went into Arabia. This is the only place where this fact is mentioned. Like Moses and Elijah, he spent a season, perhaps for reflection, communion with God, and preparation, amid the Arabian solitudes. He then returned to Damascus. Here he probably did his first preaching ( Acts 9:20-22 ). Arabia lay south and east of Palestine, extending to the vicinity of Damascus.
18-24. Then after three years. Three years after conversion. This journey to Jerusalem, hurried by persecution at Damascus ( 2 Cor. 11:32 ), was probably A. D. 40. To see Peter. He had probably never met him before. He desired to form his acquaintance and counsel over their great work. He then remained fifteen days, not long enough to have been taught the gospel by Peter, if that had been his object. 19. Other of the apostles saw I none. The other apostles were probably absent among churches of Judea ( Acts 9:31 ). Save James. Not James the brother of John, an apostle, but James, "the brother of the Lord," named in Acts 12:17 Acts 15:13 Acts 21:18 . This James was not one of the Twelve, but rose to great dignity and influence in the church at Jerusalem. He is called here "the brother of the Lord," to distinguish him from "James, the son of Zebedee," and "James, the son of Alpheus," who were of the Twelve. See/Commentaries/PeoplesNewTestament/pnt.cgi?book=re&chapter=001#" 20. Behold, before God, I lie not. This statement, an important one in view of the declarations of the Judaizers, Paul makes very solemnly. 21. Afterwards I came into . . . Syria and Cilicia. See Acts 9:30 . He was forced to leave Jerusalem by the attempt of the Hellenistic Jews to kill him. 22. And was unknown by face, etc. The churches of Judea had heard of him, but few had seen him. 23. They had heard. Rather, they kept hearing. That he was busy planting churches in Syria and Cilicia at this time we know from the fact that we find them in existence soon after ( Acts 15:41 ). 24. They glorified God in me. Glorified God for the work I was doing. The idea of glorifying men for the success of their work was unknown in the early church.