Acts 26:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee.

New Living Translation
If they would admit it, they know that I have been a member of the Pharisees, the strictest sect of our religion.

English Standard Version
They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee.

Berean Study Bible
They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I lived as a Pharisee, adhering to the strictest sect of our religion.

Berean Literal Bible
knowing me from the first, if they would be willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived as a Pharisee.

New American Standard Bible
since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.

King James Bible
Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They had previously known me for quite some time, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I lived as a Pharisee.

International Standard Version
They have known for a long time, if they would but testify to it, that I lived as a Pharisee, adhering to the standards of our strictest religious party.

NET Bible
They know, because they have known me from time past, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.

New Heart English Bible
having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Because for a long time they have been persuaded concerning me, for they know that I was living in the official doctrine of the Pharisees.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They've known me for a long time and can testify, if they're willing, that I followed the strictest party of our religion. They know that I lived my life as a Pharisee.

New American Standard 1977
since they have known about me for a long time previously, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.

Jubilee Bible 2000
who knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most perfect sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

King James 2000 Bible
Who knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most strict sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

American King James Version
Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most strait sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

American Standard Version
having knowledge of me from the first, if they be willing to testify, that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Having known me from the beginning (if they will give testimony) that according to the most sure sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Darby Bible Translation
who knew me before from the outset [of my life], if they would bear witness, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

English Revised Version
having knowledge of me from the first, if they be willing to testify, how that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Webster's Bible Translation
Who knew me from the beginning, (if they would testify) that after the strictest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee.

Weymouth New Testament
For they all know me of old--if they would but testify to the fact--how, being an adherent of the strictest sect of our religion, my life was that of a Pharisee.

World English Bible
having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Young's Literal Translation
knowing me before from the first, (if they may be willing to testify,) that after the most exact sect of our worship, I lived a Pharisee;
Study Bible
Paul's Testimony to Agrippa
4Surely all the Jews know how I have lived from the earliest days of my youth, among my own people and in Jerusalem. 5They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I lived as a Pharisee, adhering to the strictest sect of our religion. 6And now I stand on trial because of my hope in the promise that God made to our fathers,…
Cross References
Acts 15:5
But some believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and declared, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses."

Acts 22:3
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but raised in this city. I was educated at the feet of Gamaliel in strict conformity to the Law of our Fathers. I am just as zealous for God as any of you here today.

Acts 23:6
Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "Brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. It is because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial."

Philippians 3:5
circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;
Treasury of Scripture

Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most strait sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

if.

Acts 22:5 As also the high priest does bear me witness, and all the estate …

that.

Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the …

Philippians 3:5,6 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe …

sect. See on

Acts 24:5,14 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition …

(5) After the most straitest sect.--Better, most rigid, or most precise. The Greek does not contain anything answering to the double superlative of the English. The word for "sect" is the same as that used in Acts 24:5, and translated "heresy" in Acts 24:14.

Verse 5. - Having knowledge of me from the first for which knew me from the beginning, A.V.; be willing to for would, A.V.; how that for that, A.V.; straitest for most straitest, A.V. Straitest (ἀκριβεστάτην); see Acts 22:3; Acts 18:26, etc. Sect (αἵρεσις); see Acts 24:14, note. He does not disclaim being still a Pharisee. On the contrary, in the next verse (ver. 6) he declares, as he had done in Acts 23:6, that it was for the chief hope of the Pharisees that he was now accused. He tries to enlist all the good feeling that yet remained among the Jews on his side. Which knew me from the beginning,.... From his youth, from his first coming to Jerusalem:

if they would testify; what they know, and speak out the truth of things, they must say,

that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee; there were three sects of religion among the Jews, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes; the first of these was the most exact, and came nearest to the truth of doctrine, and was the strictest as to outward holiness of life and conversation, and of this sect the apostle was; and according to it he lived, and that in such a manner, as not to be charged with any notorious crime; and indeed in his own, and very likely in the opinion of others, he was then blameless. See Gill on Matthew 3:7.

(Essenes: A Jewish sect, who, according to the description of Josephus, combine the ascetic virtues of the Pythagoreans and the Stoics with a spiritual knowledge of the divine law. It seems probable that the same name signifies "seer", or "the silent, the mysterious". As a sect the Essenes were distinguished by an aspiration after the ideal purity rather than by any special code of doctrines. There were isolated communities of the Essenes, which were regulated by strict rules, and analogous to those of the monastic institutions of a later date. All things were held in common, without distinction of property; and special provision was made for the relief of the poor. Self-denial, temperance and labour--especially agricultural--were the marks of the outward life of the Essenes; purity and divine communication the objects of aspiration. Slavery, war and commerce were alike forbidden. Their best known settlements were on the north west shore of the Dead Sea. J.B. Smith one volume Bible Dictionary.) 5. if they would—"were willing to"

testify—but this, of course, they were not, it being a strong point in his favor.

after the most straitest—"the strictest."

sect—as the Pharisees confessedly were. This was said to meet the charge, that as a Hellenistic Jew he had contracted among the heathen lax ideas of Jewish peculiarities.26:1-11 Christianity teaches us to give a reason of the hope that is in us, and also to give honour to whom honour is due, without flattery or fear of man. Agrippa was well versed in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, therefore could the better judge as to the controversy about Jesus being the Messiah. Surely ministers may expect, when they preach the faith of Christ, to be heard patiently. Paul professes that he still kept to all the good in which he was first educated and trained up. See here what his religion was. He was a moralist, a man of virtue, and had not learned the arts of the crafty, covetous Pharisees; he was not chargeable with any open vice and profaneness. He was sound in the faith. He always had a holy regard for the ancient promise made of God unto the fathers, and built his hope upon it. The apostle knew very well that all this would not justify him before God, yet he knew it was for his reputation among the Jews, and an argument that he was not such a man as they represented him to be. Though he counted this but loss, that he might win Christ, yet he mentioned it when it might serve to honour Christ. See here what Paul's religion is; he has not such zeal for the ceremonial law as he had in his youth; the sacrifices and offerings appointed by that, are done away by the great Sacrifice which they typified. Of the ceremonial cleansings he makes no conscience, and thinks the Levitical priesthood is done away in the priesthood of Christ; but, as to the main principles of his religion, he is as zealous as ever. Christ and heaven, are the two great doctrines of the gospel; that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. These are the matter of the promise made unto the fathers. The temple service, or continual course of religious duties, day and night, was kept up as the profession of faith in the promise of eternal life, and in expectation of it. The prospect of eternal life should engage us to be diligent and stedfast in all religious exercises. Yet the Sadducees hated Paul for preaching the resurrection; and the other Jews joined them, because he testified that Jesus was risen, and was the promised Redeemer of Israel. Many things are thought to be beyond belief, only because the infinite nature and perfections of Him that has revealed, performed, or promised them, are overlooked. Paul acknowledged, that while he continued a Pharisee, he was a bitter enemy to Christianity. This was his character and manner of life in the beginning of his time; and there was every thing to hinder his being a Christian. Those who have been most strict in their conduct before conversion, will afterwards see abundant reason for humbling themselves, even on account of things which they then thought ought to have been done.
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