1 Corinthians 15:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

New Living Translation
For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I'm not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God's church.

English Standard Version
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

New American Standard Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

King James Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

International Standard Version
For I am the least of the apostles and not even fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted God's church.

NET Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For I am the least of the Apostles and I am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I'm the least of the apostles. I'm not even fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted God's church.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For I am the least of the apostles, for I am not worthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the congregation {Gr. ekklesia – called out ones} of God.

King James 2000 Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

American King James Version
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

American Standard Version
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Darby Bible Translation
For *I* am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called apostle, because I have persecuted the assembly of God.

English Revised Version
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Weymouth New Testament
For I am the least of the Apostles, and am not fit to be called an Apostle--because I persecuted the Church of God.

World English Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God.

Young's Literal Translation
for I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I did persecute the assembly of God,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

15:1-11 The word resurrection, usually points out our existence beyond the grave. Of the apostle's doctrine not a trace can be found in all the teaching of philosophers. The doctrine of Christ's death and resurrection, is the foundation of Christianity. Remove this, and all our hopes for eternity sink at once. And it is by holding this truth firm, that Christians stand in the day of trial, and are kept faithful to God. We believe in vain, unless we keep in the faith of the gospel. This truth is confirmed by Old Testament prophecies; and many saw Christ after he was risen. This apostle was highly favoured, but he always had a low opinion of himself, and expressed it. When sinners are, by Divine grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful. He ascribes to Divine grace all that was valuable in him. True believers, though not ignorant of what the Lord has done for, in, and by them, yet when they look at their whole conduct and their obligations, they are led to feel that none are so worthless as they are. All true Christians believe that Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and then risen from the dead, is the sun and substance of Christianity. All the apostles agreed in this testimony; by this faith they lived, and in this faith they died.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - For. This and the next verse are an explanation of the strong and strange term which he had applied to himself. The least of the apostles. In St. Paul there was a true and most deep humility, but no mock modesty. He knew the special gifts which he had received from God. He was well aware that to him had been entrusted the ten talents rather than the one talent. He could appeal to far vaster results than had been achieved by the work of any other apostle. He knew his own importance as "a chosen vessel," a special instrument in God's hands to work out exceptional results. But in himself he always felt, and did not shrink from confessing, that he was "nothing" (2 Corinthians 12:11). The notion that he here alludes to the meaning of his own name (Paulus, connected with παῦρος, φαῦρος, equivalent to "little") is very unlikely. In Ephesians 3:8 he goes further, and calls himself "less than the least of all saints," though even there he claims to have been the special apostle of the Gentiles. Because I persecuted the Church of God. This was the one sin for which, though he knew that God had forgiven him (1 Timothy 1:13), yet he could never quite forgive himself (Galatians 1:13). In my 'Life of St. Paul' I have shown from the language used, that this persecution was probably more deadly than has been usually supposed, involving not only torture, but actual bloodshed (Acts 8:4; Acts 9:1), besides the martyrdom of St. Stephen. We can imagine how such deeds and such scenes would, even after forgiveness, lie like sparks of fire in a sensitive conscience.

"Saints, did I say? with your remembered faces;
Dear men and women whom I sought and slew?
Oh, when I meet you in the heavenly places,
How will I weep to Stephen and to you!"


Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For I am the least of the apostles,.... Referring not to the littleness of his stature, but to the figure before used, and as expressing not the opinion of others concerning him, but the true and real sense he had of himself, for which he himself gives the strongest reason that can be given; and by "apostles" he means not only the twelve, but all other ministers of the Gospel that were sent forth by Christ to preach it: nor need this be wondered at, when he says, that he was less than the least of all saints, Ephesians 3:8 though when his person and doctrines were traduced by false teachers, and attempts were made to disgrace his ministry, and render it useless, in vindication of himself, and without vanity, he does not stick to assert, that he was not a whit behind the very chiefest of the apostles, 2 Corinthians 11:5 and yet here adds,

that am not meet to be called an apostle; not only to be one, but to bear the name of one. No man was meet or fit for such an office of himself; none of the apostles were any more than himself; but his meaning is, that though he was chosen, and called, and qualified by the gifts and grace of God for this office, yet he was unworthy to be called by the name of an apostle of Christ, for the reason following,

because I persecuted the church of God: he not only consented to the death of Stephen, the first martyr, and held the clothes of them that stoned him; but he made havoc of the church, haling men and women to prison, and continued to breathe out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord; and had letters of commission from the high priest in his pocket, to seize any of this way at Damascus, and bring them bound to Jerusalem, when Christ met him in the way, and was seen by him: according to his own account, he shut up many of the saints in prison, gave his voice against them when they were put to death, punished them oft in every synagogue, compelled them to blaspheme, and being exceeding mad against them, persecuted them to strange cities; see Acts 7:1. This he mentions both for his own abasement and humiliation, and to magnify the grace of God, to which he ascribes all he was, had, and did, as in the next verse.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. least—The name, "Paulus," in Latin, means "least."

I persecuted the church—Though God has forgiven him, Paul can hardly forgive himself at the remembrance of his past sin.

1 Corinthians 15:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Resurrection of Christ
8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.…
Cross References
Acts 8:3
But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

1 Corinthians 10:32
Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God--

2 Corinthians 12:11
I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.

Ephesians 3:8
Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,

1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.
Treasury of Scripture

For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

the least.

2 Corinthians 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles.

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

Ephesians 3:7,8 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace …

because.

Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, …

Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the …

Acts 22:4,5 And I persecuted this way to the death, binding and delivering into …

Acts 26:9-11 I truly thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary …

Galatians 1:13,23 For you have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, …

Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness …

1 Timothy 1:13,14 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but …

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