From: Ben Crick (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jan 19 1998 - 22:04:43 EST
On Mon 19 Jan 98 (01:49:16 +1000), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> I'd welcome opinions etc re Gal 6:11 and the PHLIKOIS GRAMMASIN with
> which Paul writes THi EMHi CEIRI.
The standard explanation is that Paul was using an amanuensis, and took the
pen into his own hand just to do the final salutation in his own handwriting.
His problems with his eyesight (since his experience on the Damascus Road)
meant that he had to write with large letters in order to be able to re-read
what he had just written. The Galatians knew of this problem; "for I bear you
witness, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own
eyes, and would have given them to me" (Galatians 4:15).
There was also a problem with forged letters supposedly written by Paul:
"That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor
by word, *nor by letter as from us", as that the day of the Lord has come"
(2 Thessalonians 2:2). So Paul took to autographing the final salutation
in his own hand: "The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand, which
is the token in every epistle" (2 Thessalonians 3:17). "The salutation of me
Paul with mine own hand" (1 Corinthians 16:21); "The salutation by the hand
of me Paul" (Colossians 4:18); "I Paul have written it with mine own hand"
Theodore of Mopsuestia commented: AGAN MEIZOSIN ECRHSATO GRAMMASIN EMFAINWN
hOTI OUTE AUTOS ERUQRIAi OUTE ARNEITAI TA LEGOMENA. Lightfoot shares this
with us, adding "The boldness of the handwriting answers to the force of
the Apostle's convictions. The size of the characters will arrest the
attention of his readers in spite of themselves" (JB Lightfoot, /Saint Paul's
Epistle to the Galatians/, Macmillan, London, 1921, p 221).
Lightfoot also writes: "In the English version the words are translated
'How /large a letter/ I have written with mine own hand.' It is true indeed
that GRAMMATA sometimes signifies 'a letter' (Acts 28:21; 1 Macc 5:10, comp
Ignat. Polyc. 7, Clem. Hom. 12:10), and therefore PHLIKA GRAMMATA might mean
'how long a letter'; but on the other hand, it seems equally clear that
GRAMMASIN GRAFEIN 'to write with /letters/ cannot be used for GRAMMATA
GRAFEIN 'to write a letter'. On this account the other interpretation must
be preferred" (ibid, pp 220f). Jerome seemingly understood this when he
translated "Videte qualibus litteris scripsi vobis mea manu".
Hope this helps.
-- Revd Ben Crick, BA CF <email@example.com> 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK) http://www.cnetwork.co.uk/crick.htm
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