The 2001 Translation

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2001 Translation


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    Paul’s letters

    Some claim that the writing styles of Paul’s letters vary so much that Paul probably did not write them all. Yet it’s obvious that he didn’t, because the letters themselves tell us that many were written through secretaries. Romans 16:22 even says:

    I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in [the] Lord.’

    This is not surprising, as several of his letters indicate that he had very poor eyesight (see Galatians 4:13-15). Like many people, he likely couldn’t do much reading or writing in the age before the invention of eyeglasses. Further, Paul was likely well over 40 years old, an age when many people today require glasses to read and write.

    When Paul did write for himself, he was forced to write in large letters. Galatians 6:11 says:

    ‘Look at these large letters that I wrote with my own hand!

    Mentioning this fact shows that it was unusual for him to be writing without a secretary.

    That probably explains why the introduction to Galatians is relatively short and less ‘flowery’ (see Galatians 1:1-5) than those in the other letters.

    A man named Tertius wrote the letter to the Romans for Paul, because he said so. But who wrote the other letters for him? Well, if you look at the headings or conclusions of other letters, you’ll find references to those who may have done the actual writing. For example, 1 Corinthians starts with the words:

    ‘Paul … and Sosthenes our brother.’

    Then 2 Corinthians starts out the same way:

    ‘Paul … and our brother Timothy.’

    This is a reasonable explanation for the different writing styles in Paul’s letters. Different secretaries wrote them for him.