Galatians 1:10

For do I now seek the favor of men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
No one persuades God, for all things are manifest to him. But a person does well in wishing to persuade others when it is not himself that he wishes them to like but the truth that he persuades them of…. When one pleases others on account of truth, it is not the proclaimer himself but the truth that pleases…. Thus the sense is, “Do I then persuade men or God? And since it is men that I persuade, do I seek to please them? If I still sought to please men, I should not be Christ’s servant. For he bids his servants to learn from him to be meek and lowly of heart, which is utterly impossible for one who seeks to please men on his own account, for his own private and special glory.” … Both then can be rightly said: “I please” and “I do not please.” ...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Do I now persuade men, or God? Theophylact, Vatablus, and Erasmus explain this to mean: "Am I now persuading you to human things or to Divine?"—as though the Apostle were showing, not the persons he was addressing, but his subject-matter, i.e, what he is putting forward to be believed. For the Judaisers were boasting that they followed Peter, John ,, James , who, by their example, seemed to teach the observance of the Old Law. In contrast to them Paul exclaims that he follows not men, or the doctrine of men, but God and His doctrine, and persuades others to do the same. It is from God that I have received what I have preached, and therefore I preach not human things, but Divine. There is a second interpretation, which is not amiss, whatever Beza may say, which has S. Chrysostom"s support. "Am I pleading a cause before men or before God?" For the word persuade (πείθειν) is a forensic term, and implies a cause pleaded before judges. Hence S. Augustine interprets it here to mean, ...

Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
Nor ought the reproaches of the lost to move us in any degree to depart from the right path and from the sure rule, since also the apostle instructs us, saying, "If I should please men, I should not be the servant of Christ.". But if some of the perverse persons refuse to obey, let us follow the same apostle, who says, "If I please men, I should not be the servant of Christ.". And the apostle also speaks, saying, "If I pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.". And that Paul also has gloriously and sublimely uttered, "If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.". Also in the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians: "If I wished to please men, I should not be the servant of Christ." ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
If I did yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ. I should not have embraced the Christian faith, I who was so zealous against it, and who by changing have exposed himself to persecutions (Witham)


AD 420
Let us not suppose that the apostle is teaching us by his example to despise the judgments of others … but if it can happen that we can please God and others equally, let us also please others…. The word now is inserted specially here, to show that people are to be pleased or displeased according to the circumstances, so that he who is now displeasing for the sake of gospel truth was at one time pleasing for the sake of people’s salvation. . ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Granting, says he, that I might deceive you by these doctrines, could I deceive God, who knows my yet unuttered thoughts, and to please whom is my unceasing endeavor? See here the Apostolical spirit, the Evangelical loftiness! So too he writes to the Corinthians, For we are not again commending ourselves unto you, but speak as giving you occasion of glorying; 2 Corinthians 5:12 and again, But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment. 1 Corinthians 4:3 For since he is compelled to justify himself to his disciples, being their teacher, he submits to it; but he is grieved at it, not on account of chagrin, far from it, but on account of the instability of the minds of those led away and on account of not being fully trusted by them. Wherefore Paul now speaks, as it were, thus:— Is my account to be rendered to you? Shall I be judged by men? My account is to God, and all my acts are with a view to that inquisition, nor am I so miserably abandoned ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He has said this because he is about to rehearse his previous life and his sudden conversion and to show through manifest proofs that there was truth in his conversion, lest [his opponents] should imagine that he was saying this to defend himself against them and be elated…. For he knew the proper season for the correction of his pupils and how to say something sublime and grand. Now, there was a time to demonstrate the truth of his preaching in another way: from signs, from wonders, from dangers, from imprisonments, from daily deaths, from hunger and thirst and nakedness, and from other things of the kind. But since his argument now was not with pseudoapostles but with apostles, and since they had been partakers of these dangers, he employs a different method of argument. ...

John of Damascus

AD 749
If, he says, I was trying to deceive you in saying these things, am I perhaps able to distort God’s thought, who knows the secrets of one’s mind, and whom I take every care to please in all things?

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Tests me! The cursing of well-maintained Discipline is a blessing of the Name. "If "says he, "I wished to please men, I should not be Christ's servant."

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

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