1 Timothy 1:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

New Living Translation
even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.

English Standard Version
though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,

New American Standard Bible
even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

King James Bible
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief.

International Standard Version
In the past I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. But I received mercy because I acted ignorantly in my unbelief,

NET Bible
even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Me, I who from the first was a blasphemer and a persecutor and abusive, but I obtained mercy, because I did not know what I was doing, without faith.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In the past I cursed him, persecuted him, and acted arrogantly toward him. However, I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in my unbelief.

Jubilee Bible 2000
who was before a blasphemer and a persecutor and injurious, but I was received unto mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

King James 2000 Bible
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and insolent: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

American King James Version
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

American Standard Version
though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who before was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and contumelious. But I obtained the mercy of God, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Darby Bible Translation
who before was a blasphemer and persecutor, and an insolent overbearing [man]: but mercy was shewn me because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief.

English Revised Version
though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief;

Webster's Bible Translation
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief:

Weymouth New Testament
though I was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor and had been insolent in outrage. Yet mercy was shown me, because I had acted ignorantly, not having as yet believed;

World English Bible
although I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Young's Literal Translation
who before was speaking evil, and persecuting, and insulting, but I found kindness, because, being ignorant, I did it in unbelief,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:12-17 The apostle knew that he would justly have perished, if the Lord had been extreme to mark what was amiss; and also if his grace and mercy had not been abundant to him when dead in sin, working faith and love to Christ in his heart. This is a faithful saying; these are true and faithful words, which may be depended on, That the Son of God came into the world, willingly and purposely to save sinners. No man, with Paul's example before him, can question the love and power of Christ to save him, if he really desires to trust in him as the Son of God, who once died on the cross, and now reigns upon the throne of glory, to save all that come to God through him. Let us then admire and praise the grace of God our Saviour; and ascribe to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons in the unity of the Godhead, the glory of all done in, by, and for us.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - Though I was for who was, A.V. and T.R.; howbeit for but, A.V. A blasphemer (βλάσημον); applied, as here, to persons, only in 2 Timothy 3:2; applied to words, Acts 6:11, 13 (T.R.). The verb βλασφημεῖν, and the substantive βλασφημία, are very common, both in the sense of "blaspheming" and of "railing" or "reviling." St. Paul was a blasphemer because he spoke against the Name of Jesus, which he had since discovered was a Name above all names. A persecutor (διώκτης); only here; but the verb διωκεῖν is applied to St. Paul repeatedly (Acts 9:4, 5; Acts 22:4; Acts 26:11, etc.), and the διώκτης here refers possibly to that very narrative. Injurious (ὑβριστής); only here and Romans 1:30, where it is rendered "insolent," R.V. The verb ὑβρίζειν, both in the New Testament and in classical Greek, means to "treat or use others despitefully," "to outrage and insult" them, not without personal violence (Matthew 22:6; Luke 18:32; Acts 14:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:2). The ὑβριστής is one who so treats others. St. Paul was thinking of his own conduct toward the Christians, whom he not only reviled, but handled roughly and east into prison (Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1; Acts 22:19). There is no English word which exactly renders ὑβριστής.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Who was before a blasphemer,.... Of the name of Christ, contrary to which he thought he ought to do many things; and he not only blasphemed that name himself, calling him an impostor and a deceiver, but he compelled others to blaspheme it also, Acts 26:9. This, as well as what follows, is said, to illustrate the grace of God in his conversion, and call to the ministry:

and a persecutor: for not content to speak evil of Christ, of his person, people, truths, and ordinances, he acted against them; not only breathed out against the disciples threatenings and slaughter, but did many evil things to them, and destroyed them which called on the name of Christ; persecuted Christ in his members, and them beyond measure, even unto death, Acts 9:1.

And injurious; not barely using contumelious and reproachful words of Christ, and his people, which is the sense of some versions, and seems to be included in the first character; but using force and violence, and doing injury, not only to the characters, but persons and properties of the saints, making havoc of the church, haling men and women out of their houses, and committing them to prison; and now it was that Benjamin ravined as a wolf, the apostle being of that tribe; see Acts 8:3.

But I obtained mercy: the Vulgate Latin version reads, "the mercy of God"; God had mercy on him, unasked and unsought for, as well as unmerited; God had mercy on him when he was in the career of his sin, and stopped him; and of his abundant mercy begat him again to a lively hope of forgiveness and eternal life; and through his great love quickened him, when dead in trespasses and sins; and according to the multitude of his tender mercies, forgave and blotted out all his iniquities; and put him openly among his children, his family and household; and to all this added the grace of apostleship: he put him into the ministry, and, of a blaspheming and injurious persecutor, made him a laborious, faithful, and useful preacher of the Gospel,

Because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. This is said, not as an extenuation of this sin, or as an excuse for himself; for this was not the apostle's method, since in the next verse he calls himself the chief of sinners; besides, ignorance is not an excuse but an aggravation of sin, especially when there are means of knowledge, and these are not attended to; and when persons are not open to conviction, and reject the fullest evidence, which was the case here: nor can unbelief be pleaded in such a man's favour, who heard what Stephen had to say; and though he could not resist his wisdom, received not the truth spoken by him, but consented to his death; moreover, all sins spring from ignorance, and are aggravated by unbelief: but this phrase describes the apostle's state and condition; he was a poor, blind, ignorant bigot, an unbelieving and hardened creature, and so an object of mercy, pity, and compassion; and he who has compassion on the ignorant, and them that are out of the way, had compassion on him. He indeed did not know that Jesus was the Christ, or that his followers were the true church of God; he really thought he ought to do what he did, and that, in doing it, he did God good service; he had a zeal, but not according to knowledge; and therefore did not sin wilfully and maliciously against light, and knowledge, and conscience, and so not the sin against the Holy Ghost; as some of the Pharisees did, and therefore died without mercy, and were not capable subjects of mercy, and proper objects of it; nor is it ever extended to such: but this not being the case of the apostle, mercy was of sovereign good will and pleasure vouchsafed to him; his ignorance and unbelief were not a reason or cause of his obtaining mercy, which is always shown in a sovereign way; but a reason, showing, that that was mercy that was vouchsafed to him, since he was such an ignorant and unbelieving creature. It is a good note of Beza's on the place, "en merita preparationis quae profert apostolus"; "what works, merits, previous qualifications and preparations were there in the apostle, fitting him for the grace and mercy of God", seeing in the midst of his sins, and in the full pursuit of them, the grace of God laid hold upon him, and mercy was shown him? there is nothing between his being a blasphemer, a persecutor, an injurious person, an ignorant unbeliever, and his obtaining mercy.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. Who was before—Greek, "Formerly being a blasphemer." "Notwithstanding that I was before a blasphemer," &c. (Ac 26:9, 11).

persecutor—(Ga 1:13).

injurious—Greek, "insulter"; one who acts injuriously from arrogant contempt of others. Translate, Ro 1:30, "despiteful." One who added insult to injury. Bengel translates, "a despiser." I prefer the idea, contumelious to others [Wahl]. Still I agree with Bengel that "blasphemer" is against God, "persecutor," against holy men, and "insolently injurious" includes, with the idea of injuring others, that of insolent "uppishness" [Donaldson] in relation to one's self. This threefold relation to God, to one's neighbor, and to one's self, occurs often in this Epistle (1Ti 1:5, 9, 14; Tit 2:12).

I obtained mercy—God's mercy, and Paul's want of it, stand in sharp contrast [Ellicott]; Greek, "I was made the object of mercy." The sense of mercy was perpetual in the mind of the apostle (compare Note, see on [2466]1Ti 1:2). Those who have felt mercy can best have mercy on those out of the way (Heb 5:2, 3).

because I did it ignorantly—Ignorance does not in itself deserve pardon; but it is a less culpable cause of unbelief than pride and wilful hardening of one's self against the truth (Joh 9:41; Ac 26:9). Hence it is Christ's plea of intercession for His murderers (Lu 23:34); and it is made by the apostles a mitigating circumstance in the Jews' sin, and one giving a hope of a door of repentance (Ac 3:17; Ro 10:2). The "because," &c., does not imply that ignorance was a sufficient reason for mercy being bestowed; but shows how it was possible that such a sinner could obtain mercy. The positive ground of mercy being shown to him, lies solely in the compassion of God (Tit 3:5). The ground of the ignorance lies in the unbelief, which implies that this ignorance is not unaccompanied with guilt. But there is a great difference between his honest zeal for the law, and a wilful striving against the Spirit of God (Mt 12:24-32; Lu 11:52) [Wiesinger].

1 Timothy 1:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
God's Grace to Paul
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.…
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.

Acts 26:9
"I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

1 Corinthians 7:25
Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.

1 Timothy 1:16
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
Treasury of Scripture

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

was.

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

Acts 9:1,5,13 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the …

Acts 22:4 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 …

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called …

Galatians 1:13 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 …

but.

1 Timothy 1:16 However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus …

Hosea 2:23 And I will sow her to me in the earth; and I will have mercy on her …

Romans 5:20,21 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where …

Romans 11:30,31 For as you in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained …

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may …

1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: …

because.

Numbers 15:30 But the soul that does ought presumptuously, whether he be born in …

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, …

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they …

John 9:39-41 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they …

Acts 3:17 And now, brothers, I know that through ignorance you did it, as did …

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

Hebrews 6:4-8 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have …

Hebrews 10:26-29 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge …

2 Peter 2:21,22 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, …

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