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Original Pub Date


Banner Pub Date

Jul 1, 2001








Geneva Series of Commentaries

Book Description

The expositions of John Brown (1784-1858) are unusually helpful to all kinds of readers. Spurgeon said in his Commenting and Commentaries, ‘Brown is a modern Puritan of the utmost value.’ The volume on Galatians is one of the scarcest books in the market.’ As a theological professor, Brown was strongly convinced that his students’ view should be ‘not only consistent with, but derived from a careful exegesis of the ‘words which the Holy Ghost teacheth’…it has been my sincere desire to bring out of the inspired words what is really in them, and to put nothing into them that is not really there.’  But as the pastor of a congregation, Brown was also anxious that his expositions should edify all Christians and not only instruct students. As a result his commentaries are unusually helpful to all kinds of readers.

Table of Contents Expand ↓

I. Of the Persons to whom the Epistle is addressed 1
II. Of the Occasion of the Epistle 3
III. Of the Subject of the Epistle 3
IV. Of the Date of the Epistle, and the place from which it was Written 5
V. Of the Genuineness of the Epistle 6
VI. Of the General Character of the Epistle 10
VII. Of the Division of the Epistle 11
VIII. Of the Interpreters of the Epistle 12
  PART I.  
  GAL. I. 1-5.  
I. The Author 17
  1. His Name 17
  2. His Office 18
  3. His Associates 22
II. The Persons addressed-the Churches of Galatia 23
III. The Greeting 24
  1. A Prayer 24
  2. A Statement 25
  3. A Doxology 33
  PART II.  
  GAL. I. 6-10.  
I. Introductory Remarks 36
II. The Change which had taken place among the Galatians 38
  1. The fact 38
  2. The Apostle’s feelings in reference to the fact 42
  3. The cause of the fact 43
III. The manner in which Corrupters of the Gospel ought to be regarded 44
IV. The Apostle’s Defence of himself against the Charge of being a Man-pleaser 48
  GAL. I. 11 – II. 21.  
I. Introductory Remarks 53
II. The Thesis to be proved, “that he was a Divinely-taught, Divinely-authorised Apostle” 55
III. Historical Proof of the Thesis 59
  1. His character as a Jew 59
  2. His conversion and call 61
  3. His conduct in consequence of his conversion 63
  (1.) He “conferred not with flesh and blood” 63
  (2.) He did not go immediately to Jerusalem 63
  (3.) He went into Arabia 64
  (4.) He returned to Damascus 64
  4. Three years after, he went to Jerusalem to become ac­quainted with Peter; remained only three days, and saw only two of the Apostles 64
  5. He went then into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, being personally unknown to the Churches of Judea 66
  6. He visited Jerusalem again after an interval of fourteen years 69
  (1.) He went up by revelation 70
  (2.) He communicated to the Apostles his mode of preaching the Gospel among the Gentiles 71
  (3.) He received from the Apostles the most unequivocal acknowledgment of his qualifications, call, and authority, as an Apostle 76
  7. His reproof of Peter for dissembling at Antioch, and his assertion of the true Gospel 81
  PART IV.  
  GAL. III. 1 – IV. 1-7.  
I. Introductory Remarks 102
II. The Apostle’s Astonishment, Displeasure, and Sorrow, at the Change in the Sentiments of the Galatians 104
III. Argument from their own Experience 109
IV. Argument from the History of the Justification of Abraham 114
V. Argument from the Promise to Abraham 120
VI. Justification by the Law in the nature of things impossible 123
VII. Justification by Law inconsistent with Scripture 125
VIII. Redemption from the Curse of the Law necessary for Justification both to Jews and Gentiles 128
IX. Free Justification by believing secured in a ratified Divine Arrangement which cannot be disannulled by the Law-a subsequent Divine Arrangement 140
  1. The Thesis stated and proved 140
  2. Design and Mode of giving of the Law 148
  3. The Law not contrary, but subservient, to the Promise 162
  4. State of the Church under the Law 170
  5. State of the Church after “faith has come” 176
  6. Figurative illustration of these two states 182
  (1.) The figure 184
  (2.) The application of the figure 187
  (a.) The Church’s minor state 187
  (b.) The state of “Mature Sonship,” into which the Church has been introduced 191
  (c.) The means by which this favourable change was effected 193
  (d.) Consequence and proof of this favourable change of condition 198
  PART V.  
  GAL. IV. 8 – V. 12.  
I. Introductory Remarks 204
II. The Apostle shows the Galatians that they were in danger of subjecting themselves to a bondage similar to that from which they had been delivered 206
III. The Apostle reminds them of the circumstances of their Conversion, and shows them that nothing had occurred that should have changed their sentiments towards either him or his teaching 210
IV. The Apostle exposes the unworthy acts of the Judaising Teachers 218
V. The Apostle expresses his deep anxiety for them, and his wish to be present with them 225
VI. Allegorical Illustration 228
  1. Introduction 229
  2. The Allegory 230
  3. The Allegory explained 230
  4. The Allegory extended and explained 238
  5. The Allegory practically improved 248
VII. The Course the Galatians were following-an implicit Renunciation of Christianity and its blessings 256
VIII. Additional considerations fitted to rouse the Galatians to serious consideration 270
  1. They had been arrested in the course they had well begun-Why? 270
  2. The “persuasion” which had induced them to change had not come from Christ 272
  3. The evil was likely to increase 272
  4. The Apostle still hoped well of them 273
  5. Their troublers would be punished 275
  6. The obvious falsehood of the suggestion, that the Apostle had become a preacher of circumcision 276
  7. The Apostle’s wish that they who troubled the Galatian converts might be “cut off” 279
  PART VI.  
  GAL. V. 13 – VI. 10.  
I. Caution against the Abuse of Liberty 283
II. An Exhortation to “Serve one another in Love,” supported by Motives 286
  1. Love is the fulfilment of the Law 287
  2. Evil consequences of an opposite temper and conduct 289
III. A General Exhortation to “Walk in the Spirit” as the best means of obtaining Dominion over the Lusts of the Flesh 291
IV. Particular Exhortations to certain varieties of “Walking in the Spirit” 313
  1. Caution against vain-glorying 313
  2. Duty of “the Spiritual” to those “overtaken in a fault” 315
  3. Exhortation to bear one another’s burdens 323
V. Caution against Over Self-Estimation 326
VI. The Duty of the Galatians to support their Teachers 331
VII. Caution against mistake in reference to the connection be­tween present Character and Conduct, and future Punishment or Reward 335
VIII. Exhortation to Well-doing, and Caution against becoming weary in it 342
  GAL. VI. 11-18.  
I. Introductory Remarks 351
II. The Apostle’s remark that his Letter was Autograph 354
III. Unprincipled Conduct of the Judaising Teachers 356
IV. The Apostle’s determination to glory only in the Cross of Christ 363
V. The Crucifixion of the World to the Apostle, and of the Apostle to the World, by the Cross of Christ 370
VI. The Essence of Christianity again stated 376
VII. The Apostle’s Prayer for all who possess the Essential Element of Christianity, and act on it 381
VIII. An injunction to cease to harass the Apostle, as he had been harassed by the Judaisers and their followers 383
IX. Concluding Benediction 385
  Remarks on the Subscription 387
A. Calvin’s Exposition of Gal. iv. 1-7 389
B. Period of the Appearance of the Messiah 393
C. Elements of Christianity 398
D. Remarks on the principle of the Support of the Christian Ministry, stated Gal. vi. 6 400
E. Opposition of the Natural Mind to the peculiar doctrines of Christianity, especially the doctrine of the Cross 404
F. Practical Power of Christian Truth 407
G. Tendency of Man to rest in a mere External Religion 410
H. Paul’s Mode of considering Judaism and Christianity in their various relations. 412
  1. Principal Matters 435
  2. Hebrew Words or Phrases explained 439
  3. Greek Words or Phrases explained 439
  4. Authors quoted or referred to 442
  5. Passages of Scripture quoted or remarked on 445


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