Galatians 2:9

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship; that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision.
Read Chapter 2


AD 400
Just as he allots to Peter companions who were the outstanding men among the apostles, so he joins to himself Barnabas, who was associated with him by God’s appointment. Yet he claims that the grace of his primacy was entrusted to him alone by God, just as the primacy among the apostles was entrusted solely to Peter. –.
< 1 min1/11

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Cephas. Clement of Alexandria (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. ii12) and Dorotheus (in Synopsi) thought that that Cephas was not the Apostle Peter, but one of the seventy disciples. But the Church neither knows nor commemorates any other Cephas save S. Peter. The words, who seemed to be pillars, show that an Apostle is meant, and, therefore, Peter. Accordingly, in verse14 , S. Paul opposes himself to Peter, as being a sort of primate over James and John. In Syriac, spoken at Antioch of Syria, the same person would be called Cephas who by the Greeks was called Peter. So the man styled Cephas here is in verse7 Peter. That we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. So Christ is called, in Rom. xv8 , a minister of the circumcision, inasmuch as He was promised and given to the Jews as the first-fruits of the world. Accordingly, the Apostles at first confined their labours to these circumcised Jews.

Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
“Not to me alone,” [he says], “did they give the right hand of fellowship, but also to Barnabas who was my companion.” He made the addition so that it should not appear that he alone had received the trust. –.
< 1 min3/11

Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
That is, those who supported the church were like pillars supporting roofs and other things. “These men, then,” he says, “being of such quality and so great, gave me their right hands, that is, joined in friendship, peace and steadfastness and declared that they had only one gospel. In view of this accord, Galatians, you are sinning and follow neither my gospel nor that of Peter, James and John, who are the pillars of the church, when you add things that are not approved by any of them.” –.
< 1 min4/11

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
James, and Cephas, and John. No proof of any greater authority can be drawn from the placing or numbering of James first, which perhaps St. Paul might do, because of the great respect he knew the Jewish converts had for St. James, bishop of Jerusalem, where the ceremonies of the law of Moses were still observed. Several Greek copies have Peter, James, and John. So we also read in St. Jerome's Commentary, p. 240, and St. Chrysostom in his Exposition, p. 729, has Cephas, John, and James. (Witham)
< 1 min5/11

Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
Since we must also ascertain how it is possible to become a “pillar,” so that we too may become worthy of this calling, we ought to hear this again from the dictum of the apostle Paul, who says that the pillar is “the foundation of truth.”
< 1 min6/11


AD 420
Three times above we read that the apostles were “reputed.” … And so I was wondering what this word meant. Now he has delivered me from all doubt when he describes them as those “who appeared to be pillars.” Therefore it means the apostles, and above all Peter, James and John, two of whom were deemed fit to go up the Mount with Jesus. One of these introduces the Savior in the Apocalypse saying “He who has overcome I shall make him a pillar in the temple of my God.” This teaches us that all believers who have overcome the enemy can become pillars of the church. –.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
That we should go unto the Gentiles and they unto the Circumcision. Observe that here also he means by the Circumcision, not the rite, but the Jews; whenever he speaks of the rite, and wishes to contrast it, he adds the word uncircumcision; as when he says, For circumcision indeed profits, if you be a doer of the law; but if you be a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Romans 2:25 And again, Neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision. But when it is to the Jews and not to the deed that he gives this name, and wishes to signify the nation, he opposes to it not uncircumcision in its literal sense, but the Gentiles. For the Jews are the contradistinction to the Gentiles, the Circumcision to the Uncircumcision. Thus when he says above, For He that wrought for Peter into the Apostleship of the Circumcision, wrought for me also unto the Gentiles; and again, We unto the Gentiles and they unto the Circumcision, he means not the rite itself, but...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship. He says not when they heard, but when they perceived, that is, were assured by the facts themselves, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship. Observe how he gradually proves that his doctrine was ratified both by Christ and by the Apostles. For grace would neither have been implanted, nor been operative in him, had not his preaching been approved by Christ. Where it was for the purpose of comparison with himself, he mentioned Peter alone; here, when he calls them as witnesses, he names the three together, Cephas, James, John, and with an encomium, who were reputed to be pillars. Here again the expression who were reputed does not impugn the reality of the fact, but adopts the estimate of others, and implies that these great and distinguished men, whose fame was universal, bore witness that hi...

Methodius of Olympus

AD 311
Since then the children have invited us, and have given unto us the right hand of fellowship,
< 1 min10/11

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Because Paul had presented himself as an adversary to Him They accordingly even gave him "the right hand of fellowship". Accordingly, the false brethren who were the spies of their Christian liberty must be thwarted in their efforts to bring it under the yoke of their own Judaism before that Paul discovered whether his labour had been in vain, before that those who preceded him in the apostolate gave him their right hands of fellowship, before that he entered on the office of preaching to the Gentiles, according to their arrangement with him. Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision.

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

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo