Galatians 6:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

New Living Translation
Notice what large letters I use as I write these closing words in my own handwriting.

English Standard Version
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Berean Study Bible
See what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Berean Literal Bible
See the large letters I have written to you with my own hand!

New American Standard Bible
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

King James Bible
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Look at what large letters I use as I write to you in my own handwriting.

International Standard Version
Look at how large these letters are because I am writing with my own hand!

NET Bible
See what big letters I make as I write to you with my own hand!

New Heart English Bible
See with what large letters I write to you with my own hand.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Behold, I have written these writings to you with my hand.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Look at how large the letters [in these words] are because I'm writing this myself.

New American Standard 1977
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with my own hand.

King James 2000 Bible
You see with what large letters I have written unto you with my own hand.

American King James Version
You see how large a letter I have written to you with my own hand.

American Standard Version
See with how large letters I write unto you with mine own hand.

Douay-Rheims Bible
See what a letter I have written to you with my own hand.

Darby Bible Translation
See how long a letter I have written to you with my own hand.

English Revised Version
See with how large letters I have written unto you with mine own hand.

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye see how large a letter I have written to you with my own hand.

Weymouth New Testament
See in what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

World English Bible
See with what large letters I write to you with my own hand.

Young's Literal Translation
Ye see in how large letters I have written to you with my own hand;
Study Bible
Paul's Final Warning
10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith. 11See what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. They only do this to avoid persecution for the cross of Christ.…
Cross References
Romans 16:22
I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 16:21
This greeting is in my own hand--Paul.
Treasury of Scripture

You see how large a letter I have written to you with my own hand.


Romans 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, salute you in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 16:21-23 The salutation of me Paul with my own hand…

(11-18) Concluding section of the Epistle, written in the Apostle's own hand. These Judaising teachers only wish to have you circumcised as a matter of outside show, in order to disguise their own professed Christianity from their fellow Jews, and so escape persecution. They show that they really care nothing for circumcision, for they freely break the rest of the Law to which they affect to give in their adhesion. Their true object is to make capital out of their influence over you, to boast publicly of your submission to the rite. I, too, will boast, but of something very different. My boast is in the cross of Christ. When I attached myself to the crucified Messiah, from that moment the world became nothing to me. Circumcision and uncircumcision matter not. The essential point is that total change which such a relation implies. On all who take this for their rule I can invoke a blessing, for they are the true Israel. Enough. I have a right to claim exemption from these attacks. The scars that I bear upon me are marks of the place I hold in my Master's service.

(11) Ye see.--Rather, See. The Apostle calls the attention of his readers to the handwriting of these concluding paragraphs.

How large a letter.--Rather, in what large letters: i.e., characters. The exact significance of these words is somewhat enigmatic, and can only be matter of conjecture. Two points, however, are clear:--(1) The latter part of the Greek phrase means "in" or "with" letters--i.e., characters of hand-writing--and not "a letter," "an epistle," as it is taken in the Authorised version; (2) The former half of the phrase means "how large," strictly in respect of size. The Apostle, for some reason or other, points out that the characters in which he is writing are larger than usual. What is his reason? It is hard to say. Some have thought that the reference was to the "shapelessness" of the letters, whether as due to the fact that the Apostle himself was not accustomed to the manual work of writing, or possibly to physical weakness from the hardships that he had undergone. The idea of "shapelessness," however, is not necessarily included in that of size. It seems, on the whole, most probable that the size of the characters express the emphasis and authority with which the Apostle is writing. He adds to the Epistle--which had so far been written by an amanuensis--a few bold incisive strokes in his own hand, trenchantly exposing the motives of the Judaising faction, and re-asserting his own position.

I have written.--Must this be so taken: I have written? or may it be idiomatically translated: I write? In other words, does it refer to the whole previous portion of the Epistle, or only to these concluding paragraphs? The question turns upon a nice point of Greek scholarship, on which such authorities as Bishop Ellicott and Dr. Lightfoot take different sides. It will only be possible in a Commentary like this to express a general conclusion, without going into the arguments on which it is based. That conclusion would be that the Greek may, quite fairly and tenably, be translated: I write; and that being so, considerations of exegesis would seem to tell somewhat decidedly in the same direction. The whole character of this concluding section is very much what we should expect if St. Paul followed his usual custom of taking the pen from the amanuensis to write it, and its brief weighty summarising style would correspond well with the "largo letters" in which he says that it was written. If this description is to be applied to the whole Epistle, it must remain a riddle to which there is no clue.

With mine own hand.--It was the Apostle's custom to make use of an amanuensis, and only to add a few final words in proof of the genuineness of the writing. (See especially 2Thessalonians 3:17; and comp. also Romans 16:22; 1Corinthians 16:21; Colossians 4:18.)

Verse 11. - Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand (ἴδετε πηλίκοις ὑμῖν γράμμασιν ἔγραψα τῇ ἐμῇ χειρί); see with what large pieces of writing (or, with what large letters) I have written (or, I write) unto you with mine own hand. There can be hardly any doubt that the rendering "ye see" of the Authorized Version, supposing, as it seems to do, that this is meant as an indicative, must be wrong (cf. John 4:29; 1 John 3:1). The ἴδετε of the Textus Receptus in Philippians 1:30 is replaced by recent editors with one consent by εἴδετε. Each one of the four next Greek words, πηλίκοις ὑμῖν γράμμασιν ἔγραψα, has been subjected to a variety of interprerations. What appears to the present writer the most probable view he must explain as briefly as he is able. The interrogative πηλίκος means "how great," as in Zechariah 2:2 (Septuagint); Hebrews 7:4. Accordingly, πόσα καὶ πηλίκα in Polyb., 1:2, 8 (cited in Liddell and Scott's 'Lexicon') means "how many and how large." Many, as e.g. Chrysostom, have supposed that the word includes a reference to clumsiness, ungainliness, as attaching to the apostle's handwriting ("with what big letters!'). But no example of the word being used in this sense of "ungainliness" has been adduced; and it seems safer not to import into its rendering this additional shade of meaning. The dative ὑμῖν Bishop Lightfoot proposes to connect closely with πληίκοις as μοὶ and σοὶ are often used in familiar style, with the sense mark you! But there is no instance of this use of the dative pronoun in the Greek Testament (see Winer, 'Gram. N. T.,' § 22, 7, Anna. 2, p. 140); and here surely it more naturally connects itself with ἔγραψαψ. It is not uncommon with St. Paul to insert some word or words between a substantive and its adjective or dependent genitive, as here between πηλίκοις and γράμμασιν (see Galatians 2:9; Galatians 3:15; Philippians 4:15, etc.). In the instances now cited there appears no more logical occasion for such a seeming disarrangement of the words than there does here. The verb ἔγραψα is used with no objective accusative following, as in Romans 15:15; 1 Peter 5:12; the substantive γράμμασιν being in the dative, because the apostle is referring merely to the form of the medium of communication, and not to the substance of the communication itself. The rendering of the Authorized Version, "how large a letter I have written," cannot be defended as a literal translation, though it may be allowed on one view of the passage to give the sense rightly. But though the plural noun γράμματα, in ordinary Greek, like literae in Latin, sometimes occurs in the sense of a single epistle or letter, it is never so used by St. Paul, who always employs the word ἐπιστολὴ to express this notion, which he does no less than seventeen times. In Acts 28:21 it is rendered "letters," in the plural number; being properly "communications in writing." The noun γράμμα was the word ordinarily employed in Greek to designate a letter of the alphabet. It also denotes "a writing," as when in the plural we read in John 5:47, "if ye believe not his writings," and in 2 Timothy 3:15," the sacred writings," or Scriptures. In Luke 16:6, 7 "take thy bill" is literally, "take thy writings" (γράμματα being the now accepted reading in the Greek text). In 2 Corinthians 3:7, "the ministration of death in writings," the word probably refers to the ten commandments, each forming one writing; though it may mean "in characters of writing." In ordinary Greek it sometimes denotes a passage of a treatise or book (Liddell and Scott, under the word, 2:4). Next

(1) the verb ἔγραψα ("I have written") may be understood, as in Romans 15:15, "I have written the more boldly unto you," etc., with reference to the entire letter, now nearly complete, as it lies before him. In that case the apostle's words may be rendered, "See, with what long writings [or, 'pieces of writing'] I have written unto you with mine own hand." Through some cause or other, we know not what the cause was, writing with his own hand was not a welcome employment to him; so far unwelcome that he generally devolved the actual penning of his letters upon an amanuensis, merely authenticating each letter as his own by a postscript added in his own hand (see 2 Thessalonians 3. fin.). Perhaps Philemon forms the only' exception (see ver. 19), apart from this letter to the Galatians. We may, therefore, imagine the apostle as painfully and laboriously penning one portion after another of the Epistle; often pausing weariedly in the work as he came to the end of each γράμμα, that is, to the end of each section of his argument, each seeming to him a long and toilsome effort. And now at last he exclaims," Look, what long, laborious performances of handwriting I have achieved in writing to you! And from that learn how deeply I am concerned on your behalf, and how grave your present spiritual peril appears to me to be!" Ordinarily it was only a brief "piece of writing" that he wrote with his own hand; here, long pieces, added one after another with painful effort. Or

(2) the verb "I have written" may be referred to what the apostle is now beginning to pen, not merely because the epistolary style of the ancients, Greek and Roman, was wont to place the writer of a letter in the temporal standing-point of its recipient, as when Cicero dates his letters scribebam Id., etc., but because under some circumstances it is natural that the writer should thus refer himself to the view of his correspondent. Thus in Philemon 1:19, "I Paul have written it (ἔγραψα) with mine own hand, I will repay it." It would be quite obvious to ourselves to express our meaning in the same manner. So far, then, as such considerations reach, it appears quite supposable that the apostle, having employed an amanuensis as usual as far as the end of ver. 10, then himself took up the pen for the customary addition of an authenticating postscript; and that, for the purpose of adding especial emphasis to the postscript which he here thought advisable to add, he made his handwriting most unusually large, and that it is to this emphatic style of penmanship that he here draws attention. Many modern critics have acquiesced in this explanation; and if γράμμασιν means "letters," that is, characters of the writing, it seems the most probable; for it does not seem likely that the whole Epistle was written in letters of an extraordinary size; while, if the characters were those of his ordinary style of penmanship, the remark would be too trivial to come from him. The present writer inclines to the former method of interpretation. Ye see how large a letter,.... Whether it be read as imperative, "see ye", observe, take notice; or as indicative, "ye see", ye do see, or you may see with your own eyes, it is of no great consequence: "how large a letter", or "with what letters"; which some understand of the largeness of the characters he wrote in; others of the deformity of them, he not writing a good hand, being an Hebrew, and not used to writing Greek; others of the grand and sublime matter which it contained; though neither of these seem to be the apostle's meaning; but he intends the length of the epistle, the prolixity of his writing; and which he mentions, as an instance and expression of his love to then, care of them, and concern for them: inasmuch as he took so much pains to write so long a letter to them, in order to set things right in their view, and recover them from error: not but that he had sent as long, or longer letters to other churches, as to the Romans, the Corinthians, and Hebrews: but then it is to be observed what follows,

I have written unto you with my own hand. The epistle to the Romans was written by Tertius, though dictated by the apostle, Romans 16:22 as very likely the others were by Timothy, or some other amanuensis. The apostle only put his name, and wrote his salutation, which was his token, in all his epistles, of the truth and genuineness of them; 2 Thessalonians 3:17, but this was not only dictated by him, but wrote with his hand, which very probably the Galatians knew; and since it was not usual for him to do so, it was the greater proof of his affection for them; that amidst so much work, and such labours as he was employed in, he should sit down and write so long an epistle to them with his own hand, in order to expose the errors of the false teachers, and reclaim them. 11. Rather, "See in how large letters I have written." The Greek is translated "how great" in Heb 7:4, the only other passage where it occurs in the New Testament. Owing to his weakness of eyes (Ga 4:15) he wrote in large letters. So Jerome. All the oldest manuscripts are written in uncial, that is, capital letters, the "cursive," or small letters, being of more recent date. Paul seems to have had a difficulty in writing, which led him to make the uncial letters larger than ordinary writers did. The mention of these is as a token by which they would know that he wrote the whole Epistle with his own hand; as he did also the pastoral Epistle, which this Epistle resembles in style. He usually dictated his Epistles to an amanuensis, excepting the concluding salutation, which he wrote himself (Ro 16:22; 1Co 16:21). This letter, he tells the Galatians, he writes with his own hand, no doubt in order that they may see what a regard he had for them, in contrast to the Judaizing teachers (Ga 6:12), who sought only their own ease. If English Version be retained, the words, "how large a letter (literally, 'in how large letters')," will not refer to the length of the Epistle absolutely, but that it was a large one for him to have written with his own hand. Neander supports English Version, as more appropriate to the earnestness of the apostle and the tone of the Epistle: "How large" will thus be put for "how many."6:6-11 Many excuse themselves from the work of religion, though they may make a show, and profess it. They may impose upon others, yet they deceive themselves if they think to impose upon God, who knows their hearts as well as actions; and as he cannot be deceived, so he will not be mocked. Our present time is seed time; in the other world we shall reap as we sow now. As there are two sorts of sowing, one to the flesh, and the other to the Spirit, so will the reckoning be hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. We are all very apt to tire in duty, particularly in doing good. This we should carefully watch and guard against. Only to perseverance in well-doing is the reward promised. Here is an exhortation to all to do good in their places. We should take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives. Especially when fresh occasions offer, and as far as our power reaches.
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