Galatians: Introduction

Galatians  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Most Chinese people have three names: first the surname, as in the telephone book at home; then what might be called the children’s family name— a name which each child bears; and finally the child’s own individual name.
There is a dear family in China with the surname King, only over there we call the father Mr. Wang. The children’s family name is Gold: so one child is called King Precious Gold (or, as we would say, Precious Gold King) and his sister’s name is King Beautiful Gold.
For many months, a few of the Christians where the King family live had been reading the book of Galatians together, and just about the time we finished that grand book of grace, a little sister arrived for Beautiful Gold. The father said to the mother, “Shall we call her Gold like the rest of the children?” “We will not,” replied the mother in a most positive tone. “We have gold enough.” (They had absolutely none except the children’s names.) “What we want now is grace. Her big sister is Beautiful Gold; let’s call her Beautiful Grace.” And so the little darling bears the name of BEAUTIFUL GRACE.
This book is an English translation of some of the things we learned during those Chinese Bible readings on Galatians. That is why it wears in many parts a Chinese dress, for I have not tried to change it; and I must ask those who read it to bear patiently with these mao-pings (defects) in a book that is offered to English-speaking readers.
I was pondering what name would be suitable for this English edition when Mr. King dropped in to tell me about his baby’s name, and it seemed to me that if the meditations on Galatians had given little sister her name of Beautiful Grace, then Beautiful Grace might also be a suitable name for a book containing meditations on Galatians.
Perhaps I should add a word about the quotations from the Bible. In addition to the Authorized Version, we have used other translations including Mr. Darby’s (JND). In all cases we have sought to use only what we thought would bring out most clearly the meaning of the original Greek.
Help has been sought on every hand, and we owe an unspeakable debt to many writers. As there was no thought of an English edition when these meditations were prepared, I regret to say that no record was kept of those to whom we owe so much for help received: but the writer would like to express his deep thankfulness to all who helped towards an understanding of this precious little book.