Jerome, Commentary on Galatians, [J.P. Migne, Editor]. Patrologiae Tomus XXVI. Paris: D’Ambroise, Pres La Barriere D’Enfer, ou Petit-Montrouge, 1845. pp. 307-438.
Jerome orders his commentary around the biblical tet in order, giving a verse and making comments on that verse. In this way it is relatively easy to follow. My notes, for posting on my blog, will typically cover relatively short segments of the text.
In Galatians 1:1, Paul makes the claim that he is an apostle, not through men, but through Jesus. Jerome notes that this is the same claim that all the others had. He uses this claim, that apostles are made by Jesus, to say that the Gospel comes directly through Jesus as well, not as a human tradition (Jerome, Galatians, 311). For this reason also, we are not free to contradict the apostles, as they are the bearers of Jesus’ Gospel.
Jerome further notes that Paul claims to be “sent” by Jesus (Jerome, Galatians, 311). Jerome surveys a number of biblical texts which illustration the importance of a divine call which sends God’s servants to accomplish His purposes. The essential question is how someone was sent. I observe that the word “apostle” means “sent one” and that Jerome seems here to toy with the word play of questioning the sending of an apostle (Jerome, Galatians, 312). People can be sent in four ways, according to Jerome’s logic - by God, by a human who acts as God’s agent, by general human assent and favor, or by themsellves. Paul is clear that he was sent by God in Christ.
While many people have claimed a special call, Jerome says the call must be evaluated. He lists numerous heretics who have caused shipwreck in the Church (Jerome, Galatians, 312). They all created new doctrines. All somehow deny the genuine person and work of Christ as described in the Gospel handed to the apostles by Christ. This is why it is important to recognize the apostleship as coming only from Jesus himself.