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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS - Chapter 6 - Verse 11

Verse 11. Ye see. This might be rendered see, in the imperative. So Tindal renders it, "Behold." But it is more commonly supposed that it should be rendered in the indicative. The sense is not materially different, whichever translation is adopted. The object of the apostle is to direct their attention to the special proof of his love, which he had manifested in writing such a letter.

How large a letter. Considerable variety has existed in regard to the interpretation of this phrase. The word here used and translated how large phlikoiv means, properly, how great. Some have supposed that it refers to the size of the letters which Paul made in writing the epistle —the length and crudeness of the characters which he used. Such interpreters suppose that he was not well versed in writing Greek, and that he used large letters, and those somewhat rudely made, like the Hebrew. So Doddridge and Whitby interpret it; and so Theodoret, Jerome, Theophylact, and some others. He might not, says Doddridge, have been well versed in the Greek characters; or "this inaccuracy of his writings might have been owing to the infirmity or weakness of his nerves, which he had hinted at before." Jerome says that Paul was a Hebrew, and that he was unacquainted with the mode of writing Greek letters; and that because necessity demanded that he should write a letter in his own hand, contrary to his usual custom, he was obliged to form his characters in this crude manner. According to this interpretation, it was

(1) a pledge to the Galatians that the epistle was genuine, since it bore the marks of his own handwriting; and

(2) it was proof of special affection for them that he was willing to undergo this labour on their account. Others suppose that he means to refer to the size of the epistle which he had written. Such is the interpretation of Grotius, Koppe, Bloomfield, Clarke, Locke, Chandler, and is, indeed, the common interpretation, as it is the obvious one. According to this, it was proof of special interest in them, and regard for them, that he had written to them a whole letter with his own hand. Usually he employed an amanuensis, and added his name, with a brief benediction or remark at the close. See Barnes "Ro 16:22"; See Barnes "1 Co 16:21".

What induced him to depart from his usual custom here is unknown. Jerome supposes that he refers here to what follows from this verse to the end of the epistle, as that which he had written with his own hand; but the word egraqa, says Rosenmuller, refers rather to what he had written, than to that which he intended to write. On this verse, the reader may consult with advantage, Tholuck on the Life and Writings of Paul; German Selections, by Edwards and Park, Andover, 1839, pp. 35, 64, 65.

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