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Galatians 2:9 – James, Cephas and John

14-06-2022 - Posted by Hans

…and knowing the grace which is being given to me, James Cephas and John, who are supposed to be pillars, give to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we, indeed, are to be for the nations, yet they for the circumcision.

This verse describes how the ranks closed during the meeting in Jerusalem. The solemn manner in which this is sealed underlines the importance of the agreement. An interest that far exceeds the disputes that were going on at the time. What Galatians 2:9 presents to us is nothing less than the compact key to understanding the New Testament!

Here we find the authors of ’the epistles’ all together. Only the name of Judas is missing, but because his short letter is a kind of appendix to the second Peter letter, it is hardly noticeable. What is striking is that the order of the names here corresponds exactly to the layout of our New Testament! In all the great Greek manuscripts (such as the Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, and Sinaiticus) we find the writings in this order, except that James, Cephas, and John are placed before Paul’s epistles. That is also the historical order: “Jew first…”.

Galatians 2:9 is so much more than a temporary division of labor. Galatians 2:9 presents a permanent New Testament division!