Peter gradually withdrew,
effects of hypocrisy,
a stunning rebuke—
Pressured by False Brethren
12For until certain persons came from James, he ate with Gentiles; but after they came, he withdrew and separated himself for fear of those of the circumcision. 13The rest of the Jews acted hypocritically and joined him so much so that even Barnabas was lead away by their hypocrisy.
(2:11) condemned] Perfect participle with emphasis on the resulting state of condition. Peter stood condemned and his past conduct continued to censure him. “The condemnation is not the verdict of the bystanders, but the verdict of the act itself’ (Lightfoot).
(2:12) withdrew] Inceptive imperfect with emphasis on the beginning of an act. Peter gradually drew back and separated himself form the Gentiles. The word is used of soldiers retreating to safety. This is what Peter was doing. Compare; “he began to withdraw” (NASB).
those of the circumcision] Not Jews in general, bu rather those Jewish Christians advocating circumcision. Compare: “the circumcision party” (RSV).
(2:13) acted hypocritically] Literally, “to join with someone in a hypocritical pretense.” Peter and the others had not really changed their convictions; they simply were acting as if they had. They were yielding to pressure.
so that even Barnabas] The grammar here is unmistakable: hoste (so that) followed by the indicative stresses the actual consequence of an act. The hypocrisy of Peter and the others had decisively influenced Barnabas. Peter shared in Barnabas’ guilt; he had led Barnabas astray.
was led away] To be swept away by the force of something. “Their dissimulation was as a flood which swept everything away with it” (Lightfoot).
(2:14) the truth of the gospel] The same phrase as in 2:5: “that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”
as a Gentile] Adverb of manner: literally, living “Gentile-like rather than Jewishly.”
to live as Jews] Infinitive of purpose: literally, “to Judaize.” Compare: “to adopt Jewish customs” (Lightfoot).
(2:15) lawless Gentiles] Literally, “sinners of Gentiles.” Those without law — pagans, immoral and depraved.
Peter gradually withdrew
Hypocrisy and its effects
When Paul learned what had happened, he publicly rebuked Peter (something which could never have happened if Peter’s apostleship had been superior to that of Paul’s). It is to Peter’s credit that he seems to have accepted the responsibility for what he had allowed. (There is never any mention of pettiness or bitterness on Peter’s part.)
Questions for Further Study
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