see with what large letters i am writing to you with my own
hand. it is those who want to make a good showing in the
flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order
that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.
[galatians 6:11-12]


what large letters you have!

paul starts into the conclusion of his letter to the galatians by referencing his large handwriting. why would he do this? in ancient times, it was not unusual for a letter to be dictated and written down by a scribe. paul wrote many of his letters this way, and so he makes a point of the fact that these last few lines are indeed his own handwriting. the fact that paul takes up the pen himself for these last few lines drives home a few important points.

first, it solidifies paul as the author. at the time, there were a handful of false letters circulating claiming to be written by an apostle, in order to gain credibility. by writing this himself, paul is leaving no doubt that this letter is no fake, and is assuredly from him.

second, it reveals the utter importance of the matters he is discussing. paul will go on in the next few sentences to proclaim his devotion to the cross above all else. these following words are so dear to his heart that he is writing them himself, and raising the significance of what is being written.

third, as he destroys the arguments of those who would boast in the flesh, he seems to be revealing a weakness in his own flesh. we have no way of knowing this, but it is possible that his ‘large letters’ were a result of frail hands, poor eyesight, or general weakness from years of abuse at the hands of those who would attack him for his faith.

whatever the reason for paul’s ‘large letters’, they remain a beautiful reminder that our weaknesses, our open humility, and our authenticity with others are used by God in beautiful ways.


~ jason soroski