Friday Faith — Grace and Peace

I collect Bible commentaries that are around 100 years old. Each Friday this month I will share an excerpt from one of these books. Today’s excerpt is from Charles Erdman from his 1930 book, The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians (commentary on Galatians 1:1-5):

The greeting which Paul sends to these churches is summarized in the words “Grace… and peace,” Possibly their familiarity may obscure their meaning. We expect them from the lips of Paul. He uses them continually as he begins his historic letters. They are not mere conventional phrases. They were current coin, but the great apostle  stamped them with a new meaning and in them embodies for his readers a prayer inclusive of the widest conceivable blessings. “Grace” was a salutation common among the Greeks. “Peace” was the salutation of the Hebrews. Paul so employed the terms as to give them for Christians a significance unique, tender, precious. “Grace” came not only to denote mercy shown toward the undeserving, but to include all the blessings bestowed by God; while “peace” came to signify the sum of all the spiritual blessings enjoyed by man. “Grace” is the fountainhead of redeeming love, and “peace” the “river of life” that flows deep and calm through each believing life. (p. 24-25)

 

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