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Friday, August 19 2016

Galatians 6: The Apostle Paul's Gramma

"Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand"

The earliest Holy Scriptures were written mostly in Hebrew because a line of Hebrews were cultivated to produce the Messiah (see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram).

After the Messiah's Sacrifice, the Holy Scriptures were written mostly in Greek because it was the "world language" of that day (see Why Were They Called Deacons? and The Gospel By The Greek and The Baptism Of The Ethiopian) - it would be the first to take the true Gospel (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?) to all nations. Paul's epistles were originally written in Greek (see Paul, The Apostle To The World and The Intercontinental Church Of God).

Consider the rendering of Galatians 6:11 into the English language - in a sampling of various Bible translations:


"6:11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand." (New American Standard)

"6:11 See with what large letters I write to you with my own hand." (World English Bible)

"6:11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand." (Revised Standard Version)

"6:11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!" (New International Version)

"6:11 Look at the large letters I use as I close in my own handwriting." (The Complete Jewish Bible)

By far, most English-language translations give the same interpretation - that Paul was writing the epistle in large letters, in effect, a "large print" Bible epistle. From that, many have speculated that Paul's eyesight was such that he had difficulty with "small print" - reading or writing.

Did Paul need glasses? Some people think so.

But wait, notice how the King James Version renders the same verse:

"6:11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand." (Galatians 6:11 KJV)

That's a very different statement. It says that Paul was referring to the length of the letter, not the size of the letters that were used to write it.

If it were left to a vote, the King James Version would be greatly outnumbered by what most other translations say. How could the "old" King James Version of 1611 be right, if so many others now say that it's wrong? Is Truth determined by a vote? Or is Truth truth - regardless of how many people recognize it?

How can we know for sure which of them is accurate?

The sure answer is to simply go to the actual Greek word that Paul wrote. What did it mean?

Paul used the Greek word, pronounced gramma (from which the English-language word grammar originated), which means a full-length letter, an epistle, a book, or a teaching lesson. It does not mean mere alphabetical letters or the act of writing. The King James Version of 1611 is accurate and correct.

Amazingly however, the present-day New King James Version abandoned the accuracy that its original edition had and now joins the incorrect majority.

"6:11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!" (New King James Version)

Paul's closing of his epistle to the Galatians ironically included the famous "for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (see the Fact Finder question below to understand the origin of that statement).

"6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

6:11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. To the Galatians written from Rome." (Galatians 6:1-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: When and where did the term "reap what you sow" originate?
See Reap What You Sow

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This Day In History, August 19

14: Octavian, later known as Augustus, the first Roman Emperor and adopted son of Julius Caesar, died (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). Augustus was the Emperor at the time of the Messiah's birth ("2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed" Luke 2:1 KJV). Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius, who was the Caesar at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?). The photo shows a sculpture of Octavian / Augustus as he actually looked in his lifetime when he was recorded in the Scriptures.

Augustus 1099: The Church of Rome's armies of the First Crusade defeated the Saracens (a European term for Muslims) at the Battle of Ascalon, one month after they had captured Jerusalem (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad; also A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions and The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).

1477: Maximilian I, son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, married Mary of Burgundy and acquired the Burgundian possessions in the Netherlands and France (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1504: The Battle of Knockdoe in Ireland; the Hiberno-Norman de Burghs (Burkes) against the Anglo-Norman Fitzgeralds.

1561: Mary Queen of Scots arrived in Scotland to assume the throne after spending 13 years in France.

1587 Sigismund III, son of John of Sweden, was elected King of Poland.

1612: Three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury, known as the "Samlesbury witches," were put on trial for witchcraft. It became one of the most famous witch trials in English history (see also What Is Sorcery?).

1666: During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, Rear Admiral Robert Holmes led a raid on the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships. The foray later became known as "Holmes's Bonfire."

1692: During the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials, a woman and four men, including a clergyman, were executed after being convicted of witchcraft (see also What Is Sorcery?).

1768: The Saint Isaac's Cathedral was founded in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

1861: The first ascent of Weisshorn, one of the highest summits in the Alps.

1880: French acrobat Blondin walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls with his manager on his back.

1919: Afghanistan was granted full independence from the United Kingdom.

1934: Adolf Hitler became "der Fuehrer" of Germany after nearly 90% of voters gave him their support (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion). Democracy is no guarantee of a righteous leader.

From a related Bible study (see Why Does Satan Love Liars?):

"Many of the greatest liars of human history have been immoral politicians who felt no allegiance to truth. Adolf Hitler rose from being a common street hobo (he was a "homeless person" on the streets of his native Austria for many years after his widowed mother died and no longer provided a free living for her adult-age son who refused to work to support himself) to one of the most evil war criminals and political con men of all time - due to his developed talent and lust to lie. He later even bragged about what a great liar that he was (quotes translated from German):

"The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one"

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth"


1942: The Dieppe Raid. During the Second World War, 4,963 Canadian and 1,075 British commandos, 50 U.S. Army Rangers, and 20 inter-Allied commandos launched a coastal attack on the heavily fortified German-held Dieppe. Of the 6,108 troops involved, only about 2,500 returned. The rest were killed or captured. Although the mission was a disaster, the lessons learned from it contributed to the success of the D-Day Normandy invasion that followed 2 years later.

1953: During the "Cold War" between Western fascism and Eastern communism, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Britain's MI6 ("Military Intelligence, Section 6") helped to overthrow the Soviet-allied government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and installed the puppet-dictator Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah was later overthrown by Muslim extremists who turned Iran into an Islamic theocracy (see also When Iran Had A Christian King and How Hadassah Of Benjamin Became The Queen Of Persia).

1953: Israel's parliament conferred Israeli citizenship posthumously on all Jews killed by the Nazis during the years of the Holocaust (1933-45) in Europe (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).

1954: The U.S. Congress approved a bill outlawing the Communist Party.

1960: U.S. U-2 (a high-altitude spy plane) pilot Francis Gary Powers, who had been shot down by the Russians, was sentenced by a Moscow court to 10 years for espionage. He was later set free in exchange for a Russian spy who had been captured in New York.

1989: Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski nominated Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be the first non-communist Prime Minister of Poland in 42 years.

1991: The government of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was temporarily overthrown by a military coup.

2003: A Hamas terrorist suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem killed 23 Israelis, 7 of them children.

2009: Terrorist bombings in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 101 people and injured 565 others (see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).


Copyright © Wayne Blank