Galatians 4:13

You know how through weakness of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Through infirmity of the flesh I preached the Gospel unto you. S. Jerome explains this to mean that he gave them the first and weak elements only of the faith, because of their weakness with regard to spiritual things. He also gives as a second interpretation of infirmity of the flesh, Paul"s sicknesses and headaches, and as a third, his persecutions, poverty, and sufferings in general, which might make him seem an Apostle, weak, miserable, and despicable, and so unable to gain the respect of the Galatians.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Through infirmity of the flesh. And your temptation in my flesh. St. Jerome thinks the apostle had some bodily infirmity upon him. St. Chrysostom understands his poverty, and want, and persecutions, and that some were inclined to contemn him and his preaching on these accounts. Yet others among them did not esteem him less: they received him, respected him as an Angel of God, as Christ Jesus; they would have given him their eyes, as one may say, and all that was dear to them. He puts them in mind how happy then they thought themselves, and asketh why they are now so much changed? (Witham)


AD 420
This is an obscure passage and demands closer attention. “I preached to you initially,” he says, “as if to infants and sucklings on account of your bodily weakness…. This economy and pretense of weakness in preaching was my own policy. You were trying to decide whether things that were rather small in themselves and were presented by me as of little account would be acceptable.” … The passage could also be explained another way: “When I came to you … as a lowly and despised man … you perceived that my lowliness and the plainness of my dress were meant to try you.” … Or we might suppose that the apostle was sick when he came to the Galatians…. And this could also be said, that in his first coming to the Galatians he was subject to abuse and persecution and physical beatings from the adversaries of the gospel. .

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Not to have injured one is indeed no great thing, for no man whatever would choose to hurt wantonly and without object to annoy another who had never injured him. But for you, not only have you not injured me, but you have shown me great and inexpressible kindness, and it is impossible that one who has been treated with such attention should speak thus from any malevolent motive. My language then cannot be caused by ill-will; it follows, that it proceeds from affection and solicitude. You did me no wrong; you know that because of an infirmity of the flesh I preached the Gospel unto you. What can be gentler than this holy soul, what sweeter, or more affectionate! And the words he had already used, arose not from an unreasoning anger, nor from a passionate emotion, but from much solicitude. And why do I say, you have not injured me? Rather have you evinced a great and sincere regard for me. For you know, he says, that because of an infirmity of the flesh I preached the Gospel unto you; a...

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

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