Large Letters

“See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.” (Gal. 6:11)

It was common for someone like Paul to have a professional writer compose the language of the letter. Paul would dictate the message, and the writer would put the words into appropriate prose. Obviously, this verse indicates that Paul wrote the closing himself, with his own hand and in large letters.

Having Paul compose a few Greek sentences is no big thing, he was an educated man and Greek was his native language. What bothers people about this verse is the large letters part. For many years, scholars have been certain that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was poor eyesight. Far be it from me to argue the point but I would like to mention that it is not a necessary conclusion. Not based on this verse anyway.

A more likely reason for the large letters, in my opinion, is that the conclusion of the letter was very important and Paul does two things to make sure his readers understood that. First, he uses very large letters. In a day when writing space was at a premium, this had significant meaning. He had no need to prove he could or couldn’t see well. What he did want to do is make sure the readers grasped the importance. We do that when we use capital letters or underline or use bold type.

The second thing he does is say these are my exact words. I’m writing this, word for word and let there be no mistake about what I am saying. In these two ways, the Galatian letter ends with surprising emphasis. Paul has a final warning, and he wants it to stand out in every way.

Like the Galatians, we must give the more earnest heed to the last words of the epistle for they are in Paul’s mind extremely important for the followers of Christ.

Task for Today: There are times when we must pay close attention to detail, and this appears to be one of them. When you read the word, whether in large letters or small understand that it is not really Paul or Peter speaking, it is the Holy Spirit. It is God’s word. Give it both eyes, ears, and total heart.

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