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Galatians 1:17

Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them who were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
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Ambrosiaster

AD 400
He set out from Damascus to Arabia, therefore, to preach where none of the apostles had been and where Judaizing had not been promoted through the intrigues of pseudoapostles. And from there he returned again to Damascus so that he could attend to those who were still immature when he preached to them the gospel of God’s grace. . ...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Neither went I up to Jerusalem. But Acts ix26 represents Paul as flying directly after his conversion from Damascus to Jerusalem. Jerome and Lorinus, when commenting on that passage, say that he went to Jerusalem directly after his conversion, because compelled to seek safety in flight, not that he might see Peter and confer with him about the Gospel, for this latter is all that is denied here. Baronius replies differently, that Paul is not said directly after his conversion to have gone to Jerusalem, but after many days, i.e, after three years, spent partly in Arabia, partly in Damascus. After that he came to see Peter, as is said here (ver18), and afterwards went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia (Ver21). With this agrees Acts ix30 , where it is said that the brethren brought him down to Cæsarea and sent him forth to Tarsus, which is the metropolis of Cilicia. If this be the true explanation, then S. Luke , in Acts 9, passes over the journey of Paul into Arabia, because in it not...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
So far from receiving his apostleship from the other apostles, he saw none of them, till he had spent three years in announcing the word of God. (Calmet) In this epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul treats the same matter as in his epistle to the Romans; to the former he writes less exactly and more briefly, as very rude and uncivilized; to the latter, with more precision, and with greater copiousness, as replenished with all knowledge: repleti omni scientia. (Romans xv. 14.) ...

Jerome

AD 420
How are we to explain this narrative, if we read later that Paul went immediately to Arabia after the revelation of Christ? … He teaches that the Old Testament, that is, the son of the bondwoman, was established in Arabia. And so, as soon as Paul believed, he turned to the Law, the Prophets and the symbols of the Old Testament that were then lying in obscurity and sought in them the Christ whom he was commanded to preach to the Gentiles. . ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were Apostles before me. These words weighed by themselves seem to breath an arrogant spirit, and to be foreign to the Apostolic temper. For to give one's suffrage for one's self, and to admit no man to share one's counsel, is a sign of folly. It is said, Do you see a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him; Proverbs 26:12 and, Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Isaiah 5:21 and Paul himself in another place, Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12:16 Surely one who had been thus taught, and had thus admonished others, would not fall into such an error, even were he an ordinary man; much less then Paul himself. Nevertheless, as I said, this expression nakedly considered may easily prove a snare and offense to many hearers. But if the cause of it is subjoined, all will applaud and admire the speaker. This then let us do; for it is not the right course to weigh the m...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
If one interprets these words by themselves, they seem suggestive of some great conceit or a sentiment not worthy of an apostle. To rely on one’s own choice and have no one else to share one’s estimate seems a mark of folly…. But we should not interpret bare words, or many absurdities follow…. Let us now interpret the mind of Paul when he wrote these words. Let us consider his aim and his whole attitude to the apostles, and then we shall know his intention in saying this…. For since those who plunder the church were saying that one should follow the apostles, who did not forbid these things, he is forced to withstand them stoutly, not wishing to disparage the apostles but to restrain the folly of those who were falsely puffed up. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And let me point out to you his humility. For, having said “I went up to Arabia,” he has added “and I returned to Damascus.” He does not recount his conversions or what people and how many he instructed, even though he showed such zeal after his baptism that the Jews were enraged against him, and their animosity became so intense that they laid an ambush for him and wanted to kill him, along with the Greeks. … But he says nothing of these things here, nor would he have spoken of them in that place had he not seen that the occasion demanded that he recount his own history. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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