I, Tertius

There are several places in Paul’s letters where his use of a secretary or amanuensis is clear. In Romans 16:22, the amanuensis pens his own line, “I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.” An even more interesting case is where Paul himself borrowed the pen and wrote a few lines. This is evident in Galatians 6:11 where he wrote, ” See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.” Paul implied that the Galatians could distinguish between his handwriting (with large letters) and the handwriting of the rest of the letter which was done by a trained scribe (who probably wrote in smaller letters and more neatly). In the papyrus document shown here, the statement at the top is witnessed in writing by two other people, both with identifiably different handwriting. In fact, the middle witness uses very large letters to write out his name, Hermas (ΕΡΜΑΣΣΗ). [For more on this particular document, which is housed in the library at the university of Michigan, visit their website.] Paul used the normal practices of his day when writing to the Romans, which included an amanuensis.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *