[Papercut Press] 2002-10-14 - Thoughts on a Verse

Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Everyone has to have a hobby I suppose. My hobby is kind of strange. I collect rare theological books. But, it is even stranger than that. I have focused on books published between 1640-1650. Anyway, my theological library does extend outside of those dates and one of the works I have is Luther's commentary on Galatians published in 1602. I guess I have been reading it because I want to honor the 400th anniversary of when it was printed. It seems sentimental and stupid to admit, but that is why I have been reading it. Well, I came upon Galatians 6:14 in my reading and Luther summarized it in a very vivid manner. I thought I would share his paraphrase with you and then the paraphrase of several others also as I think they might bring home to our hearts the importance and meaning of this wonderful verse. A paraphrase is a short explanation of what the verse is saying while incorporating the phrases of the verse.

Luther: Galatians, Imprinted by Richard Field dwelling in the blacke-Friers by Ludgate, 1602.

"As if he should say: This carnal glory and ambition of the false apostles is so dangerous a poison that I wish it were buried in hell, for it is the cause of the destruction of many. But let them glory in the flesh that list (lean awayfrom the truth), and let them perish in their cursed glory. As for me, I desire no other glory, but that whereby I glory and rejoice in the cross of Christ."

Philip Doddridge, D. D., Works, 10 Vols., 9: 307, Leeds: Printed by Edward Baines, 1805.

"But, for my part, I have no such selfish worldly views, and God forbid that I should glory, either in my descent or circumcision, in my abilities or interests in making converts, or indeed in any thing else, unless it be in the regard I have been brought to pay to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the reliance which I have for justification of his death and sufferings; but the believing views of which I am made indifferent to all things here, and the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world; so that I view the world, as little impressed by all the charms as a spectator would be by any thing which had been graceful in the countenance of a crucified person when he beholds it blackened in the agonies of death; and am no more affected by the objects round me than one that is expiring would be struck with any of those prospects which his dying eyes might view from the cross on which he was suspended."

John Guyse, D. D., The Practical Expositor, Edinburgh: Printed by W. Darling, 1775.

"But as to myself, far be it from me, it is a detestable thought in my account, that I, like them, should be ambitious of human applause, or boast of what I have done, or rely on any thing as the ground of acceptance with God, except it be on the atoning sacrifice of our crucified Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for whom I am willing to suffer the loss of all things (Phil. 3:8, 9). Such is my entire dependence on this, my triumph in it, and expectation from it, that by faith in him, and by virtue derived from him, and in conformity to him, as crucified, I am dead to all the allurements, interests, ease, and honors of this world on one hand, and all its terrors, persecutions and reproaches on the other, so as not to be moved by them, (Acts 20:24): And it is on account of my preaching the pure doctrine of salvation alone by the cross of Christ, without any mixture of the works of the law, that men of a worldly spirit, who are chiefly governed by secular interests, are dead in their affections toward me, despise and hate me, and would be glad to crucify me, as they did my dear redeemer."

I am not sure that the expansion on this verse is something you enjoyed. I have never offered anything like it before, but I have found some of these various interpretations on various sections of Scripture to be both insightful and helpful. I hope these have been for you also in respect to this verse.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com