on Galatians 6 :11
Ye see how large a letter - There is a strange diversity of opinions concerning the apostle's meaning in this place. Some think he refers to the length of the epistle, others to the largeness of the letters in which this epistle is written, others to the inadequacy of the apostle's writing. It appears plain that most of his epistles were written by an amanuensis, and simply subscribed by himself; but the whole of the Epistle to the Galatians was written by his own hand. To say that the apostle was unskilled in Greek, and especially in the Greek characters, is in my opinion absurd. He was born in Tarsus, a city which, according to Strabo, rivaled both Athens and Alexandria in philosophy, and in arts and sciences; and therefore he could not be ignorant of a tongue which must have been the very means of conveying all this instruction. As to writing it, there was in his time nothing difficult, because the uncial character was that which was alone in use in those days, and this character is as easily made as the capitals in the Roman alphabet, which have been taken from it. I conclude, therefore, that what the apostle says must be understood of the length of the epistle, in all probability the largest he had ever written with his own hand; though several, much larger, have been dictated by him, but they were written by his scribe or amanuensis.
on Galatians 6 :11
Ye see - This might be rendered see, in the imperative. So Tyndale 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 used here and translated "how large" (πηλίκος pēlikos), 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 labor 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 the Romans 16:22 note; 1 Corinthians 16:21 note. 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 ἔγραψα egrapsa, 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.
on Galatians 6 :11
6:11 Ye see how large a letter - St. Paul had not yet wrote a larger to any church. I have written with my own hand - He generally wrote by an amanuensis.