Commentary On Galatinas

Any other gospel than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. The Protestants hence conclude: Therefore the decrees of councils and the canons of pontiffs are accursed, because they contain many things not in the Gospel, and are consequently a Gospel other than that preached.

I reply: Other (præterquam) is here what is contrary to the accepted faith, such as are the doctrines of heretics.

  1. This appears, firstly, because Paul is writing against the Judaisers, who were trying to introduce Judaism beside (præter), that is, against the Gospel. It was just as if any one were to try to add Calvinism or Mohammedanism to Christianity. He would be introducing a new law and society beside, i.e., against Christianity. Accordingly, in ver. 6, he calls this another Gospel, and in ver. 7 he says that the preachers of it pervert, or, as Chrysostom styles it overturn the Gospel of Christ.
  2. It is clear and certain that not only an angel but Paul himself knew more, and consequently might have preached more truths than he did (2 Cor. xii. 1 and 6).
  3. Paul constantly orders, as Christ did, the commands of Apostles and superiors to be obeyed (Acts xvi. 4; Heb. xiii. I7).
  4. Moreover, Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Œcumenius explain the phrase as I have done. In 1 Cor. ii. the Apostle uses παρά (præter) in the sense of against, when he writes: “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ;” for he would set up another Christ, just as one who makes another Pope sets up an, anti-Pope, or he who invites another king into a kingdom sets up an enemy of the true king and a tyrant. Similarly, in Rom xi. 24: “If thou wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive-tree”—contrary to nature is παρά φύσιν (præter naturam).Even in Latin we often use the same meiosis. For example, Terence (Andria) says, “Præter civium morem atque legem,” i.e., against law and custom. So, too, in Greek, as, e.g., Aristotle (de Cælo, lib. i. c. i) says παρά φύοιν, beside, i.e., against nature; παρά νόμον, beside, i.e., against law.

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