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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

Galatians 6



Verses 11-18


Written by the Apostle with his own hand. He portrays himself in contrast with the False Teachers. An entreaty for future quiet out of regard to his sufferings. Benedictions.

Galatians 6:11-18

11Ye see how large a letter I have written [See in how large letters I have written, or with what letters I write][FN12] unto you with mine own hand 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should [that they should not][FN13] suffer persecution for the cross of Christ 13 For neither they themselves [not even do they] who are circumcised[FN14] keep the law [themselves]; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh 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[FN15]. 15For in Christ Jesus [omit in Christ Jesus][FN16] neither circumcision availeth[FN17] anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature 16 And as many as walk [shall walk][FN18] according to this rule, peace17be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From [omit From] henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord [omit the Lord][FN19] Jesus 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit [The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren]. Amen.


Galatians 6:11. See with what letters I write [or in what large letters I have written (see below)—R.] unto you with mine own hand.—Paul as a rule dictated his Epistles; but attested them by adding at least the conclusion in his own hand (comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:17). So also in this Epistle. But as it is the first letter which he has written to the Galatians, he begs them to notice[FN20] his handwriting. This is the sense of πηλίκοις γράμμασιν, which is therefore simply = with what sort of letters. Ἔγραψα, according to the familiar epistolary usage; the aorist does not therefore refer back to the portion already written, but Paul means what he is just beginning to write in conclusion. So Laurent, zur Kritik der Briefe des Apostles Paulus, in the Studien und Kritiken, 1864 H4, p 643 sq.—His interpretation seems to have more in its favor than that of Wieseler (adopted in the 1 st edition of this work), who renders it: “See with how great letters,” etc., referring the words to the whole Epistle, in this sense, that he means to give his readers a token of his special love in having written to them in quite large, and therefore unusually legible, characters, and that, not through an amanuensis, as ordinarily, but with his own hand. Against this Laurent remarks: How is it conceivable that immediately after so profound and earnest a discourse, the Apostle should have reviewed the characters he had already written, and have made so trivial a remark about their appearance? Besides the letters were not at all large; not much larger than ours. In Paul’s day cursive writing was already in use. While therefore the amanuensis probably wrote in uncial letters, Paul himself wrote cursively[!?][FN21]—But his purpose in adding the conclusion with his own hand was in this case not merely to attest the Epistle. For the conclusion is unusually long. Paul was also impelled to write by the desire of impressing more deeply on the minds of the Galatians a notice respecting his own person in opposition to the false teachers.

[Two questions arise in the interpretation of this verse: 1. to what does the Apostle call attention; 2. to how much does he refer. The answer to the first question turns upon the meaning of πηλίκοις γράμμασιν, that to the second mainly, though not exclusively, upon the force of ἔγραψα. 1. We may determine with comparative certainty the meaning of πηλίκοις γράμμασιν. Πηλίκος, occurring only here and in Hebrews 7:3 (where the reference is to magnitude, though in an ethical sense), is not synonymous with πόσος, “how many;” hence “how many letters”=how large a letter, is incorrect; nor does the plural γράμματα mean “letter,” for which Paul invariably uses ἐριστολή. Besides the phrase γράφεῖν γράμμασιν, in the sense of “write a letter,” is nowhere found. Nor is πηλίκος identical with ποῖος (so Schmoller and others), “what kind;” Ellicott justly characterizes this interpretation as arbitrary. It means “how large,” referring to the size, implying that, for some cause, what Paul himself wrote was written in larger characters than usual (or perhaps than an amanuensis was in the habit of using). There is no necessity for finding a reference to shapelessness. It is no valid objection to say that this reference was trivial, for other things that Paul has written may be thus spoken of with equal propriety (comp. 2 Timothy 4:13). See Meyer, Alford, Ellicott, Wordsworth and Lightfoot2. To how much does he refer? In other words, did Paul write the whole Epistle with his own hand, or only these concluding verses. The aorist indicates the former, unless it be an epistolary aorist. But the burden of proof rests with those who maintain this. Besides if the reference be exclusively to what follows, it seems singular that the epistolary aorist should be chosen. We cannot perhaps decide the question from this word alone, but there are other considerations which may be urged in favor of the autographic character of the whole Epistle, a) Attention may have been called to the size of the letters, as a proof that Paul had written the whole, not using an amanuensis, who would probably have written more rapidly, hence in smaller characters, and this would be a proof of his earnestness and affection. b) The Epistle is largely a personal vindication, and hence was more likely to be an autograph, c) Alford finds a similarity, in style and in use of words, between this and the Pastoral Epistles (which he regards as autographs), see Vol. III. New Testament Prolegg. pp4, 79 sq. d) Wordsworth refers to the passage in Habakkuk cited in this Epistle, ( Galatians 3:11), and finds in the injunction to the prophet to write “the just shall live by faith” in large characters, an implication that this Epistle on the same theme was written in similar characters. (This however is not of much weight.) Although the use of ἔγραψα is not decisive, yet taken in connection with the meaning of πηλίκοις, and whatever of weight attaches to the considerations mentioned above, it is much safer to assume that Paul wrote the whole letter; the probabilities are strongly in favor of this view. (So Alford, Ellicott and Wordsworth most decidedly.) There is a conjecture that the size or shapelessness of the letters arose from Paul’s weakness of vision, but it must be regarded as only a conjecture. Comp. Galatians 4:15. Paul could not have been unskilful in writing Greek.—R.]

Galatians 6:12. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh.—In condensed sharp language the Apostle ( Galatians 6:12-13) characterizes the intrigues of the false teachers. They are people who want to have a good repute (εὐπροσωπῆσαι), but for all that live in the flesh, according to the lusts of the flesh,[FN22] and shun suffering. Therefore they constrain you to be circumcised.—(Ἀναγκάζουσιν ὑμᾶςπεριτέμνεσθαι= “are busied with forcing a circumcision upon you.”) For this is done only that they should not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.—Τῷ σταυρῷ not: on account of the cross, but: by the cross; the cross of Christ is itself represented as the persecutor—a significant image for these people’s fear of the cross, because it brings persecution. But the cross of Christ brings with it such persecution, sc. on the part of the Jews, only when it is preached and confessed as the sole condition of salvation, which is not done when circumcision is regarded as a condition of salvation. Therefore they insist upon this, in order to escape persecution. [It seems better to take τῷ σταυρῷ as the dative of the ground or occasion (so Meyer, Alford, Ellicott and many others). Schmoller actually presents this view in his explanatory remark. It cannot mean “with the sufferings of the cross” (Winer). The objection to both is that “the cross of Christ” means “the atoning death of Christ upon the cross” (Brown), and this meaning will not admit of these interpretations.—R.]

Galatians 6:13. Paul immediately explains the strong μόνον, “only” ( Galatians 6:12). They have in this no other view than the one assigned—the purely egoistic one—they are not concerned for the law on its own account; for not even do they who are circumcised keep the law themselves.—Of the circumcised, or those who receive circumcision, [the reference being to the Judaizing party; the perfect would perhaps point more to the leaders, the present to the party as one which was then enforcing this rite,—R.] with all their zeal for circumcision, it might be expected that they kept the law. But their conduct is hypocritical. When they desire to have you circumcised, it is not in the interest of the law, but only that they may glory in your flesh, that they may be able to boast themselves; and it is moreover the σάρξ of the Galatians, that is to be the subject of their boasting: to be taken either physically, with reference to the circumcision to be performed in their flesh; or in a sense similar to Galatians 6:12, because if the Galatians should receive circumcision, they would follow the σάρξ and its suggestions, would display a carnal weakness and pliability of which these men would then boast as their own work. [The latter view is preferable.—R.]

Galatians 6:14. But God forbid that I should glory.To this sinful boasting of the false teachers, to whom the cross of Christ is more or less a scandal, and who are unwilling to suffer any persecution for its sake, Paul opposes his own boasting, whose subject is this very cross of Christ.—Save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Meyer incorrectly supposes that Paul wishes to mention the subject of his official glorying over against the official vauntings of the false teachers, and hence understands “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” of the preaching of the cross of Christ, not of the fact itself. [In the 4 th Ed. Meyer says: Only the cross of Christ should be the subject of his καυχᾶσθαι, viz.: that nothing other than the Redemption accomplished on the cross by Christ was the ground, contents and Divine assurance of his faith, life, hope, labor, etc.”—Surely this is not open to Schmoller’s objection.—R.] Wieseler:—Paul will, in contrast with these Judaizers, not boast at all of what he is or has or does, and therefore also not of his official labors, but of the cross of Christ.—By whom or which.—Διʼ οὖ is then most naturally referred to the main idea, “cross,” not to “our Lord Jesus Christ.” [The meaning is evidently the same, whether the relative be referred to one or the other; “by which” would mean through the cross of Christ; “by whom,” through Christ crucified. Still there is much force in the suggestion, that the subject immediately preceding, “so fully and triumphantly expressed, so important and so emphasized, throws the other word into the shade.” (It is not necessary to suppose that in this case we would find ἐν .) Besides, the idea of sundered fellowship with the world, which follows, seems to imply here more of a fellowship with Christ than with the cross. See Meyer, Alford and Ellicott, and on the other side Calvin, Bengel, Brown and Lightfoot.—R.]

The world is crucified unto me.—By this Paul does not mean to state, for instance, why he cannot any longer boast of anything else, viz., because nothing else exists for him (Meyer), but he gives in a few yet pregnant words a glimpse into the significance which the cross has for him, on account of its operation. It is of course only because the cross is for me the object of faith, because I stand by faith in inward fellowship therewith (comp. Galatians 2:19), [or, better, with Christ Himself as the Crucified One—R.], that a crucifixion has been accomplished in my case also. Paul, however, is here speaking not simply of the fact that he or his old Ego has been crucified. Recognizing as he does his old Ego as one entangled with the world, and recognizing this entanglement with the world as its distinguishing character, he says, that the world, to which it clung, has been crucified to him, i. e, the world had become in his eyes condemned, yea dead = had utterly lost all significance, all attractive power for him, and that therefore his fellowship with it had been wholly broken off. Of course Paul’s fellowship of faith with the cross of Christ [or Christ crucified—R.] involved no direct action upon the world itself, but only upon it so far as it appertained to him, i. e, upon his fellowship with it.—And I to the world.—And even so had he been crucified to the world. A crucifixion of him had naturally been the consequence of his fellowship of faith with the cross of Christ (comp. Galatians 2:19), but calling to mind his former entanglement with the world, he declares himself crucified “to the world,” says, that in its eyes also he is one dedicated to death, yea, a dead Prayer of Manasseh, so that he has no longer any attraction for the world, that the world will have nothing more to do with him, that its fellowship with him is also fully dissolved. This double statement thus expresses in the strongest manner, the absolute dissolution of every bond between him and the world. To him this result appeared a gain, and he saw in this a new reason, for glorifying in the cross of Christ. The second clause, κἀγὼ τῷ κόσμῳ, appears to imply also the positive statement, that not only does the world no longer regard him as one of its own, but also hates and persecutes him, and thus does precisely that which his adversaries seek to avoid ( Galatians 6:12); yet Paul accounts it as nothing, but glories in the cross of Christ, although it brings these consequences with it; so highly does he value the gain, which he has from it.

Galatians 6:15. For.—He immediately gives the reason for his determination to boast exclusively of the cross of Christ (not for the δι’ οὖ, Meyer).—Neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.—Everything depends on the last, nothing on the first. But it is the cross of Christ which leads to this new creation, and that through the operation of it described by δι’ οὖ Galatians 6:14. This reciprocal crucifixion of the world and the old man to each other is the death of the old man and the beginning of a new one. [Καινὴ κτίσις is probably passive, the thing created, resulting from a new creation on the part of God.—R]

Galatians 6:16. And as many as shall walk according to this rule.—In Galatians 6:15 Paul stated a principle; here he designates this as the standard, according to which one should walk. Upon all who shall thus walk (the future applies to the time from the receipt of the Epistle thenceforward; Paul hopes that the Epistle will have a converting and confirming effect upon the readers) he invokes peace[FN23] (see on Galatians 1:3) and mercy, thereby indicating the high importance of this standard. As this belongs to the conclusion, it is best to take it as a benediction; others understand it as a statement, supplying ἔσται.—The correct interpretation of and upon the Israel of God is the explicative one = that is [for they are the Israel of God.—R.] For there is here no reason for bringing the Jewish Christians into especial prominence; besides, the comprehensive ὅσοι does not admit of a national distinction being now first made in addition, and others named, who, it would even appear, had not to walk according to this standard. On the other hand, “the designation of all those, who walk according to this Anti-Judaistic standard, as the Israel of God, the true theocratic people, at this solemn close, Isaiah, as it were, the triumph of the whole Epistle.”—Meyer. [Ellicott doubts whether καί can have so strong an explicative force, and prefers to take it as copulative, as if the Apostle’s thought turned to his kindred according to the flesh; but the exegetical objections to this view are great, and the other interpretation is so suitable that it must be adopted.—R.]

Galatians 6:17. Henceforth let no man trouble me, i. e, by still listening to the false teachers; for I (ἐγώ and not the persecution-shunning false teachers) bear in my body the marks of Jesus, the stigmata of Jesus, i. e, the proofs, that I am a real servant of Jesus (στίγματα with reference to the marks which masters had branded upon their slaves), namely, in all the traces, scars, wounds, and the like, of the maltreatments and persecutions, which I have endured in my apostolic calling. [“of Jesus,” i. e. my Master, Captain, God, for slaves, soldiers and votaries bore such marks. See Wordsworth and Lightfoot in loco.—R.]

Galatians 6:18. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.—Μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν; we are not to understand a special intention in his not writing the simple μεθ’ ὑμῶν; yet we should not overlook what is significant in the expression. Grace operates and is meant to operate upon the πνεῦμα of the man; only so does it operate truly and fully, and just such a full, truly salutary operation of grace does he wish for them.Brethren.—Ἀδελφοί: “The Epistle, so severe in its prevailing tone, concludes with this address, in which unaltered brotherly love expresses itself.” Meyer. [Bengel: Ita mollitur totius epistolæ severitas.—R.]—Amen.


Christ’s cross is the touchstone of true Christianity. What Paul says in this section of the Judaistic teachers, applies strikingly mutatis mutandis, to the great mass of nominal Christians.[FN24] They by no means wish to keep the law in its whole extent, that is much too burdensome for them; on the contrary they appeal to the fact that they forsooth believe on Christ, and therefore are free from the yoke of the law. But now on the other hand they have as little mind to believe on Christ in the whole extent of faith; what is inconvenient in this, they leave behind, and that is the cross of Christ, i. e, so far as it is a means of quieting the conscience, it is willingly accepted, but so far as it includes a dying of the old Prayer of Manasseh, and the entering into a fellowship of the cross with Christ, they will none of it. Instead of this men turn rather to the otherwise despised law, and arbitrarily make the law to consist in this or that particular, some practice, some abstinence, and imagine themselves there to be satisfying all the severer requirements of God, while yet they are far from this utterance: The world is crucified to me and I unto the world!—Christ’s cross is the touchstone of true Christianity; it is in this, that salvation and comfort is to be sought, and so far it would not be so very hard to glory in the cross of Christ, which many are willing to do. But salvation and consolation are to be sought exclusively in that, no longer in the world, no longer in one’s self, everything else is to be accounted loss, and on the other hand the fellowship with the cross of Christ is to be counted no loss; in brief, there must come into being a new creature. This is the “Canon” ( Galatians 6:16) for a Christian; only he who guides himself according to this becomes and is in truth a Christian. This is hard and yet not impossible. God will help therein by the pedagogy of his law, and will lead to faith, and to faith will give the Spirit, which helps through to the new creature.—Comp. also Roos: “Paul shows, that it is not so completely indifferent, what a man thinks of Christ and His cross. Now-a-days, as many of the people say: I pray, read, hear, and am none of the worst. A clever man of the world says: I do much evil, but I have a good heart with it all, and between my evil works I also do some good ones. God will look at me on my good side. What now shall we make of Jesus of Nazareth? Here the world boggles. At last it says: Let Him pass for a good teacher, who has told us, that God is not the God of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles, and that He loves such virtuous persons as we. Let Him be also an example for imitation. Finally, let Him be also, if one will so have it, the Redeemer, who has acquired for us freedom to hasten on a broad and easy way, with a trifle of virtue, light-mindedly to eternity, and notwithstanding our wickedness to fear no punishment. Now consider, whether this is the gospel of Paul, and whether he so preached Christ. Can such a man say that he boasts only of the cross of Christ, and that through it the world is crucified to him and he unto the world? Has he experienced a new creation? Is the culture, which age, office, intercourse with men, has given him, worthy of this lofty name? Is he in Christ Jesus? Has he the confidence, as he Isaiah, to stand before the holy God? Let him, in moments of reflection, put this question to himself and hear concerning it the answer of God and the Bible. Perhaps God will be so gracious as yet to reveal to him the gospel which Paul preached, and if this is Song of Solomon, he will be astonished to find that before this, Hebrews, without his knowledge, had a false religion. Mercy and peace be upon every one that is thus brought right.”


Galatians 6:12. Rieger:—In every age there are points in which the world insists upon being yielded to, agreeing then to leave other points untouched. And whoever does not consent to this impure commingling, must not only suffer persecution, but also bear the reproach, that he himself is to blame, that he suffers only on account of his own self-will.—Hedinger:—How many thousand brethren have ye, ye clerical placemen, in Galatia? The handful of barley, the merry countenance, the assured friendliness, the favorable patron your comfort; flattery and trimming the sails, you think, will bring a man on. I do not agree with you. Moses’ course and choice is the best. Christ’s reproach before the purple of Egypt.—Starke:—Love must, indeed, cover and excuse a neighbor’s faults, but from hypocrites and seducers one must, for a warning, tear away the mask; especially should those do it to whose office it appertains.—Spener:—The doctrine of Christ preaches Christ’s cross, and brings a cross to him who preaches it.

Galatians 6:13. Hedinger:—To preach to others and be one’s self a reprobate, to lade others with burdens, and not one’s self to touch them with a finger, what hypocrisy!—Starke:—It is an attribute of false teachers and zealots for religion, who are only concerned with the outside, to proselytize a man to the religion, let him believe afterwards as he will. This is a carnal zeal with abundant craving for notoriety.

Galatians 6:14. In Starke:—Christians must not be ashamed of the cross of Christ, but rather glory in being justified and saved by that alone. Faith in Christ, the Crucified One, brings commonly such a fellowship of suffering with Him, that one has to bear his cross after the Lord Christ.—As soon as the union of a soul with Christ through faith takes place, so soon is the tie which holds it to the sin prevailing in the world, loosed.—A Christian may have much which even the world esteems, but the heart must not rest upon it.—Luther:—The world is crucified to me, i. e, I account, that the world is damned; and even so am I in turn crucified unto the world, i. e, it accounts, that I am damned. Thus we condemn one another. I anathematize all its human righteousness, doctrine, and work, as the very devil’s poison, and it in return anathematizes also my doctrine and work, counts me for a mischievous Prayer of Manasseh, etc.

Galatians 6:15. Luther:—“A new creature” does not mean, that one clothes himself differently, and puts on a different air, from before, but it means the renewal of the mind, which is brought about by the Holy Ghost. From that there follows an alteration of the outer life. For where the heart through the gospel obtains a new light, there it never fails that the outward senses also are altered. The ears have there no longer pleasure, in hearing human dreams and fools’ tidings, but God’s word alone. The mouth no longer boasts of a man’s own works, righteousness and monastic rule, but of God’s compassion in Christ Jesus. This then is an alteration, which consists not in words, but in work and in power.

[Burkitt:—1. Christianity is a walk: a free and voluntary motion, an uniform and even motion, a progressive motion, a constant motion2. This walk is a walk by rule. A Christian is not a lawless person to range up and down as fancy leads him3. The rule is the law of the new creature. The new creature, in the principles and workings of it, is made the ground, the pattern and direction of our obedience, and we frame and square all the actions of our lives according thereunto4. The blessed privileges belonging to those who thus walk: peace and mercy5. Such are the true Israel: a thousand times greater privilege than to be the children of Abraham’s flesh.—R.]—Rieger:—Even if one cannot accept the ungodly peace offered by those who make a fair show in the flesh, yet one by steadfast abiding within the limits of his faith, has the enjoyment of a Divine peace, and mercy is shown us in recompense of what many a one will lay upon us with an unrighteous judgment.

Galatians 6:17. In Starke:—The burdened servant of the Lord has a claim to be unmolested.—It is not necessary to be ever anew entering into argument with unprofitable chatterers in defence of the truth, especially where it has been once and again vindicated against them.—Luther:—Because I am Christ’s servant and walk after the right rule, i. e, because I publicly confess, that out of Christ no man can attain to salvation, therefore also must I wear my Lord’s livery, which does not consist in marks and scars that I have inflicted in will worship as presumption on myself, like Francis, but such as are without my thanks or will inflicted on me by the world and Satan for Jesus’ sake.

Galatians 6:18. In Starke:—Grace is the beginning, middle and end in Paul’s writings. As the beginning of religion is grace, so does its progress depend upon grace. Dost thou, O Christian, in thy solicitations from men, find neither grace nor comfort? Be not dismayed! The grace of thy Lord Jesus remains assured to thee.—Let every one see to it, that he be and remain a dear brother of Paul, i. e, a true child of God; so may he also appropriate to himself the wish that God’s grace may remain with him, with a believing Amen.—[Brown:—Thus does the Apostle conclude this admirable Epistle, and show us, by his example, what it is to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him.—R.]

Fleeing the cross, or boasting of the cross? The decisive question in religion.—In Lisco:—The incomparable worthiness of the cross of Christ to be gloried in: 1. That a man can only refuse to acknowledge this out of unworthy motives. a) That such a refusal exists; b) why many refuse: a) because one will only make a fair show in the flesh, β) because one is not willing to be persecuted with the cross of Christ, y) because one will have glorying for himself and by means of himself2. On what account the cross of Christ is thus solely worthy to be gloried in: a) for the sake of that, which came to pass thereon; b) for the sake of the fruit which the cross of Christ bears in the hearts and lives of His people: a) as respects their demeanor toward the world, ß) as respects their temper towards others: they cherish warm love towards those of like mind; they contemn the assaults of those, that are not so minded; they wish that all may become and remain sharers in His grace.

[The Apostle had first vindicated his apostle-ship, then his gospel, but was it for his own glory? Nay, in one sense Galatians 6:14 is a summing up of the whole Epistle; all this defence, this earnestness, this boldness, this tenderness, was but a glorying in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Many see the cross, some trust in it, not all of these glory in it. Why not? Because their fellowship with Christ is not yet such, that the world is crucified to them and they to the world.—Those who gloried in the cross of Christ have gotten glory to Christ and His cross.—Among the many celebrated sermons on Galatians 6:14 may be mentioned those of Bishops Atterbury and Beveridge, also of McLaurin, Summerfield and McCheyne.—R.]

FN#12 - Galatians 6:11.—[The E. V. is obviously incorrect both in rendering “ye see” and “how large a letter;” the two interpretations offered to our choice are given above. See Exeg. Notes. The aorist ἔγραψα must be rendered: “I have written,” if it is not un epistolary aorist; “I wrote” (Am. Bib. Un.) is verbally correct, but is not in any case a proper English dress for the Apostle’s idea.—R.]

FN#13 - Galatians 6:12.—[Μ ή is misplaced in Rec. after ἵνα. It should follow Χριστοῦ. Διώκωνται is the reading of א. B. D. E, adopted by Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, Meyer, Alford, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Wordsworth. Tischendorf (with A. C. F. G. K. L.), διώκονται; an improbable solecism, arising from the frequent interchange of ω and ο.—R.]

FN#14 - Galatians 6:13.—Rec. περιτεμνόμενοι; the reading περιτετμημένοι, Isaiah, however, recommended by Griesbach, and adopted by Lachmann and Scholz. “With right; the perfect is absolutely necessary, since the Judaistic teachers are meant. The present was introduced by the transcribers, who had just written περιτέμνεσθαι and perhaps were reminded of Galatians 6:3.” Meyer. [If the perfect be the correct reading, we must render, “who have been circumcised,” or simply “the circumcised;” but the present is not only lectio difficilior, but is supported by preponderant external authority (א. A. C. D. E. K, many versions); it is therefore adopted by Tischendorf, Alford, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Wordsworth.—R.]

FN#15 - Galatians 6:14.—Τῷ is omitted by Lachmann on important authorities. [א. A. B. etc.; Alford, Lightfoot omit the article. There is great room for doubt, since the omission may be readily accounted for both by the similarity of the preceding syllable and the desire to conform with the anarthrous κόσμος; Meyer, Tischendorf, Ellicott, Wordsworth retain it.—A careful examination of all the proposed emendations leaves the impression that the rendering of this verse in the E. V. ought not to be altered in the least particular.—R.]

FN#16 - The MSS. authority for the longer reading is very great, but so many old versions follow the shorter one, and the probability of an importation from Galatians 6:6 is so great, that Tischendorf and almost all editors adopt it.—R.]

FN#17 - Galatians 6:15.—Ἐστίν; Elz. and Matth. [and Rec.] have ἰσχύει (from Galatians 6:6) against decisive authorities.

FN#18 - Galatians 6:16.—Στοιχήσουσιν. The reading στοιχοῦσιν is approved by Griesbach, put in the margin by Lachmann, and adopted by Tischendorf. Meyer asks with right: “What reason could the transcribers have had for changing it into the future?” [The authorities for the future are weighty; the change to the present is more explicable; the future is slightly more difficult. Adopted by Meyer, Alford, Lightfoot, Wordsworth; hence “shall walk.”—R.]

FN#19 - Wordsworth, with his usual conservative tendencies, follows the Rec.—R.]

FN#20 - “Ἴδετε is imperative; “see” not “ye see” as E. V.—R.]

FN#21 - It does not appear whether this statement is made by Schmoller, on his own authority, or that of Laurent. There seems to be no other authority for it. The very reverse is more probable.—R.]

FN#22 - Or perhaps, “make a fair shew in things which appertain to a mere fleshly life.”—R.]

FN#23 - Wordsworth remarks that this is the only place in the New Testament where εἰρήνη is placed before ἔλεος.—R.]

FN#24 - True where this commentary was written, but partially true everywhere.—R.]


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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Galatians 6:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". 1857-84.

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