1 Timothy 1:13
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious.—In these words of bitter I self-accusation, St. Paul sums up. the characteristic features of his brilliant career as a young Pharisee leader, as a popular Jewish patriot. The object of his intense hatred and of his burning antagonism during these never-to-be-forgotten days was that very Lord, from whom later he had received such unspeakable gifts. He knew he had been “a blasphemer” of that dear Master in the truest sense of the terrible word, since, as it has been well said, that: “He who had seen Stephen die for Christ, and after this did not cease to pant like a wild beast for the blood of the Church, must have known that he had not been guilty of simply reviling men but of blaspheming God.” And “a persecutor,” for, to quote his own words at Jerusalem (Acts 22:4): “I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” (Comp., too, Acts 25:11 : “I compelled them to blaspheme.”) And “injurious” (or, more accurately rendered, a doer of outrage), as he must well have remembered the events referred to in the history of the Acts (Acts 9:1) in the words: “Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.”

But I obtained mercy.—The Apostle, his heart overflowing with love and gratitude, contrasts his Master’s mercy with his own want of it; the “mercy” shown to him consisting in something very different to simple forgiveness of a great wrong. In St. Paul’s case the pardon was crowned by many a noble gift bestowed by that pitiful King whom he had so cruelly wronged.

Because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.—This is one of the passages which throws a gleam of light on some of the hard questions which perplex us when we meditate on the principles of the final judgment. Very little is told us as to the doom of those who have not heard, or else have failed to understand, the message of Christ. Still, from even such scanty teaching as is contained in the words we are now considering, and in such passages as Matthew 12:31-32; Luke 23:34, we gather that there is an ignorance which at least greatly modifies the guilt of unbelief; we learn at least this much—such a sinner is not out of the pale of the operation of divine mercy But in spite of these hints—for they are little more—of the almost limitless area of the divine mercy, great care must be taken not to press overmuch these blessed intimations of the possibility of a mercy far more extended than the usual interpretation of the inspired utterances would lead us to expect; for, after all, the words and teaching of the merciful Redeemer Himself (Luke 12:48) seem to point to a mitigation of punishment, rather than to a complete forgiveness, of sins committed under circumstances of perhaps partial ignorance. “He that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.”

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.Who was before a blasphemer - This does not mean that Paul before his conversion was what would now be regarded as an open blasphemer - that he was one who abused and reviled sacred things, or one who was in the habit of profane swearing. His character appears to have been just the reverse of this, for he was remarkable for treating what he regarded as sacred with the utmost respect; see the notes on Philippians 3:4-6. The meaning is, that he had reviled the name of Christ, and opposed him and his cause - not believing that he was the Messiah; and in thus opposing he had really been guilty of blasphemy. The true Messiah he had in fact treated with contempt and reproaches, and he now looked back upon that fact with the deepest mortification, and with wonder that one who had been so treated by him should have been willing to put him into the ministry. On the meaning of the word blaspheme, see the notes on Matthew 9:3; compare Acts 26:11. In his conduct here referred to, Paul elsewhere says, that he thought at the time that he was doing what he ought to do Acts 26:9; here he says that he now regarded it as blasphemy. Hence, learn that people may have very different views of their conduct when they come to look at it in subsequent life. What they now regard as harmless, or even as right and proper, may hereafter overwhelm them with shame and remorse. The sinner will yet feel the deepest self-reproaches for that which now gives us no uneasiness.

And a persecutor - Acts 9:1 ff; Acts 22:4; Acts 26:11; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13, Galatians 1:23.

And injurious - The word here used (ὑβριστής hubristēs), occurs only in one other place in the New Testament, Romans 1:30, where it is rendered "despiteful." The word injurious does not quite express its force. It does not mean merely doing injury, but refers rather to the manner or spirit in which it is done. It is a word of intenser signification than either the word "blasphemer," or "persecutor," and means that what he did was done with a proud, haughty, insolent spirit. There was wicked and malicious violence, an arrogance and spirit of tyranny in what he did, which greatly aggravated the wrong that was done; compare the Greek in Matthew 22:6; Luke 11:45; Luke 18:32; Acts 14:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 12:10, for illustrations of the meaning of the word. Tyndale and Coverdale render it here "tyrant."

But I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief - compare notes on Luke 23:34. The ignorance and unbelief of Paul were not such excuses for what he did that they would wholly free him from blame, nor did he regard them as such - for what he did was with a violent and wicked spirit - but they were mitigating circumstances. They served to modify his guilt, and were among the reasons why God had mercy on him. What is said here, therefore, accords with what the Saviour said in his prayer for his murderers; "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." It is undoubtedly true that persons who sin ignorantly, and who regard themselves as right in what they do, are much more likely to obtain mercy than those who do wrong designedly.

Yet we cannot but regard - Paul's "ignorance in unbelief" as, in itself, a grievous sin, He had abundant means of knowing the truth had he been disposed to inquire with patience and candor. His great abilities and excellent education are a further aggravation of the crime. It is, therefore, impossible to acquiesce in any solution of this clause which seems to make criminal ignorance a ground of mercy. The author, however, intends nothing of this kind, nor would it be fair to put such construction on his words. Yet, a little more fullness had been desirable on a subject of this nature. It is certain, that, independent of the nature of the ignorance, whether willful or otherwise, the character of crime is affected by it. He who should oppose truth, knowing it to be such, is more guilty than he who opposes it in ignorance, or under the conviction that it is not truth, but falsehood. In a certain sense, too, this ignorance, may be regarded as a reason why mercy is bestowed on such as sin desperately or blasphemously under it. Rather, it is a reason why they are not excluded from mercy. It shows why persons so guilty are not beyond its pale. This is, we think, the true key both to the passage, and that in Luke 23:34. The ignorance is not a reason why God should bestow mercy on such persons, rather than on others left to perish, but a reason why they obtain mercy at all, who, by their blasphemies had been supposed to have reached the sin against the Holy Spirit.

Now consider the passage in this view. The apostle had just been showing how great a sinner he had formerly been. His criminality had been so great that it went near to shutting him out from mercy altogether. Had he maliciously persecuted and blasphemed Christ, knowing him to be the Messiah, his had been the unpardonable sin, and his lot that of judicial, final obduracy. But he had not got that length. He was saved from that gulph, and obtained mercy, because, sinning ignorantly and in unbelief, he was not beyond its range.

That Paul should set himself to excuse his guilt is altogether impossible. He does the very reverse. He has but escaped the unpardonable sin. He is chief of sinners. He owes his salvation to exceeding abundant grace. All long-suffering has been exercised toward him. He affirms, that mercy was extended to him, that, to the end of time, there might be a proof or pattern of mercy to the guiltiest. Had he been assigning a reason why he obtained mercy, rather than others left to perish, doubtless that had been what he has elsewhere assigned and defended, "God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion;" Romans 9:15.

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].

The kindness of God in putting me into so noble a service was the greater and more thankworthy, because

before that time I was a blasphemer, one who spake of Christ reproachfully, for that blasphemy signifieth. Paul was a zealous man in the Jewish religion, his blasphemy therefore only respected the Second Person in the Trinity, which the Jews owned not. Paul compelled others to blaspheme, Acts 26:11.

And a persecutor: of his persecution, see Acts 8:3: he entered houses, haled men and women to prison; he breathed threatentings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, Acts 9:1; he persecuted Christianity even to death, Acts 22:4,5. Thus he was injurious, for in other things he was, as to the law, blameless, Philippians 3:6, bred up a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of the Jewish religion, Acts 26:5; but he verily thought with himself that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Acts 26:9; so as he went according to his conscience, (such a one as he had), and, Acts 26:10, he had also authority from the chief priests. But neither the dictates of his own erroneous conscience, nor yet the command of his superiors, could (according to Paul’s divinity) excuse him from being a

persecutor, and injurious, and standing in need of the free pardoning mercy of God, which he saith he obtained of God’s free grace, because

he did it ignorantly. We cannot reasonably think that ignorance of the Divine law (once published) should excuse any transgressor of it, we see men will not allow it as to their laws, after promulgation; so that although Paul persecuted Christians ignorantly, yet he stood in need of mercy. Ignorance excuseth not a toto, but a tanto, not in whole, but in part, and makes the sinner’s sin not to be so exceeding sinful, especially where it is not vincible. Paul’s ignorance here mentioned was vincible; he lived in Judea, where the gospel had been preached some years before he persecuted the professors; he might have heard the sermons preached, and seen the miracles wrought, by Christ and the apostles; but he was bred a Pharisee, and under the prejudices of that sect which were implacable enemies to Christ, this kept him in ignorance. Christ allows something for the prejudices of men’s education. He did what he did also while he was in a state of

unbelief. He believed one true and living God, (all the Jews did so), and worshipped him according to the Jewish manner, yet styles himself an unbeliever. Every man is an unbeliever (in a gospel sense) that receiveth not Jesus Christ as the Son of God and his Saviour, though he believes there is one God, &c. Paul addeth this circumstance of his ignorant blaspheming and persecuting the truth, partly to justify the Divine mercy that pardoned and preserved him; for the gospel peremptorily excludes from pardon all that sin against the Holy Ghost, such who, being enlightened by the knowledge of the saving truth, yet for carnal reasons deliberately and maliciously oppose it; now the showing mercy to Paul was no contradiction to this most wise law of God: and partly he mentions his ignorance to prevent the abuse of the Divine mercy by men; as if from his example they might securely imitate his persecuting the saints, or live in a course of sin, though convinced of their wickedness, and hope for mercy at the last. 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.

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

(h) These are the meritorious works which Paul brags of.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Timothy 1:13. Τὸ πρότερον ὄντα βλάσφημον κ.τ.λ.] τὸ πρότερον is equivalent to the adverb πρότερον, just as, in Matthew 26:45, τὸ λοιπόν is equivalent to λοιπόν. The participle stands here in the relation of contrast to what precedes: “though I was before,” or “I who was nevertheless.”

βλάσφημον] only here as a substantive; comp. on this Acts 26:11. For the most part, the idea of βλασφημία is used in reference to what is divine (Suidas: ἡ εἰς Θεὸν ὕβρις).

καὶ διώκτην] Leo says: “Paulus non dictis tantum sed etiam factis furuerat in Christianos;” the word occurs only here in the N. T.; on the subject-matter, comp. Acts 22:4; Galatians 1:13.

καὶ ὑβριστήν] also in Romans 1:30. Luther translates “reviler,” but Wegscheider: “one who does violence.” Neither translation expresses the full meaning as it is given in Tittmann’s (Syn. p. 74) explanation: “qui prae superbia non solum contemnit alios, sed etiam contumeliose tractat, et injuriis afficit.” Ὑβρίζειν denotes the arrogant conduct of another, whether in words or in actions.

The context leads us to think of Christ’s work, or Christ Himself, as the object of the apostle’s blasphemy.

Having judged his former conduct in straightforward fashion, Paul goes on to contrast with it the grace of the Lord: ἀλλʼ ἠλεήθην, adding, however, by way of explanation: ὅτι ἀγνοῶν ἐποίησα ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ. De Wette is not correct in supposing that the intended aim of these words is to furnish some excuse for himself.[63]

ἠλεήθην] (Luther: “to my lot did compassion fall”) is not to be limited to the pardon of his persecuting fury (Matthies: “to me was my mad eagerness in persecution most graciously forgiven”), but should be taken more generally of the grace imparted to the apostle.[64]

ἈΓΝΟῶΝ] (comp. Romans 10:2 : ΖῆΛΟΝ ΘΕΟῦ ἜΧΩΝ, ἈΛΛʼ Οὐ ΚΑΤʼ ἘΠΊΓΝΩΣΙΝ), i.e. without knowing how grievously I sinned therein. The reason of this unconsciousness was ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ. Mack is wrong in inverting the relation, as if the apostle added ἘΝ ἈΠΙΣΤΊᾼ to explain his ἌΓΝΟΙΑ. How far the ἈΠΙΣΤΊΑ was one to be blamed, Paul does not here say: the idea is to be taken in its purely negative form. It was not this, but the ἌΓΝΟΙΑ grounded on it, which lessened his guilt.[65]

[63] Wiesinger: “The words are not intended to exculpate his acts, but to explain wherein the power of divine grace began to work on him.” Similarly Plitt, van Oosterzee, and others.

[64] Otto wrongly finds in ἠλεήθην a special reference to the fact that Paul “was entrusted with the ministry of the word.”—What precedes in ver. 12 might seem to support this, but what follows is entirely against such a limitation of the thought.

[65] Hofmann wrongly takes ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ as in pure apposition to the participle ἀγνοῶν, and maintains that ἀγνοεῖν is not always an ignorance which simply does not even know, but a misconception of something which it should have known. But this more precise reference is clearly not contained in the words themselves.1 Timothy 1:13. ὄντα: concessive: “though I was,” etc. βλάσφημον: a blasphemer. The context alone can decide whether βλασφημεῖν is to be rendered rail or blaspheme. It was against Jesus personally that Paul had acted (Acts 9:5; Acts 22:7; Acts 26:14). This brings into stronger relief the kindness of Jesus to Paul. ὑβριστής, rendered insolent (R.V.), Romans 1:30, covers both words and deeds of despitefulness. Injurious is sufficiently comprehensive, but, in modern English, is not sufficiently vigorous.

ἀλλὰ ἠλεήθην: Obtaining mercy does not in this case mean the pardon which implies merely exemption from punishment; no self-respecting man would value such a relationship with God. Rather St. Paul has in his mind what he has expressed elsewhere as the issue of having received mercy, viz., to have been granted an opportunity of serving Him whom he had injured. Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:25; 1 Corinthians 15:10, 2 Corinthians 4:1.

ἀγνοῶν ἐποίησα: A possible echo of the Saying from the Cross recorded in Luke 23:34, οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν. See also John 15:21; John 16:3, Acts 3:17; Acts 13:27, 1 Corinthians 2:8. There is a remarkable parallel in The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Judah xix. 3, ἠλέησέ με ὅτι ἐν ἀγνωσίᾳ τοῦτο ἐποίησα) dated by Charles between 109–106 B.C.

ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ does not so much qualify ἀγνοῶν, as correct a possible notion that all ignorance must be excusable. St. Paul declares, on the contrary, that his was a positive act of sinful disbelief; but “where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly,” ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις, Romans 5:20.13. who was before a blasphemer] A translation of the ace. masc. of the article taken with the participle. But the neuter of the article has the best support, and is taken with the adverb, giving it a slightly stronger force ‘during the former days’; while the participle has the concessive sense, though I was beforetime.

a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious] R.V. retains ‘injurious’ in spite of its having become a much weaker word since the 17th century, and so we have an anticlimax, whereas the Greek gives us a climax, the last word referring to deeds of outrage and contumely. Cf. Trench, N. T. Syn. § 29. In 1 Thessalonians 2:2 and three other places, we have the verb translated ‘shamefully entreated.’ Tyndal, Coverdale and Cranmer give ‘tyraunt.’ Translate, with Ellicott, a doer of outrage.

but I obtained mercy] howbeit, or ‘but still,’ gives a stronger force than simply ‘but.’ ‘He had not like the worse part of the blaspheming and persecuting Pharisees sinned against his better convictions, Mark 3:28-30; he had not deliberately set at nought the counsel of God, and defied Heaven to its face.’ Fairbairn.1 Timothy 1:13. Βλάσφημον, a blasphemer) against God.—διώκτην, a persecutor) against holy men, lest others should be converted.—ὑβριστὴν, despiser) [Engl. Vers., injurious], in rejecting my own salvation. This threefold relation to God, his neighbour, and himself, is frequent in this epistle especially, and in that to Titus; see presently at 1 Timothy 1:14, which forms an antithesis to this verse: likewise 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:9. Titus 2:12, where the word εὐσεβῶς, godly, is opposed to ἁσεβείᾳ, ungodliness, and yet the two words, soberly, and righteously, are opposed to worldly lusts. So here love (1 Timothy 1:14) alone has a threefold relation: it is love towards God, of which the opposite is a blasphemer; it is love towards the Church, of which the opposite is a persecutor; it is love towards himself, of which the opposite is a despiser.—ἠλεήθην, I obtained mercy) This word is resumed, as if after a parenthesis, in 1 Timothy 1:16. This sense of mercy was perpetual in the mind of the apostle, 1 Timothy 1:2, note.—ὅτι, because) Ignorance does not deserve pardon in itself; but in classifying the reasons which might impel a man to reject salvation, it is opposed to pride and every higher degree of wickedness.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. Blasphemer - persecutor - injurious (βλάσφημον - διώκτην - ὑβριστήν)

Neither βλάσφημος nor διώκτης is used by Paul. Βλάσφημος in Acts 7:11; 2 Peter 2:11; διώκτης N.T.o.; ὑβριστής in Romans 1:30 only; often in lxx. See on blasphemy Mark 7:22, and comp. 1 Corinthians 10:30. Ὑβριστής is one whose insolence and contempt of others break forth in wanton and outrageous acts. Paul was ὑβριστής when he persecuted the church. He was ὑβρισθείς shamefully entreated at Philippi (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Christ prophesies that the Son of man shall be shamefully entreated (ὑβρισθήσεται, Luke 18:32). Similar regretful references of Paul to his former career appear in Acts 22:4; Galatians 1:13, Galatians 1:23. Such a passage may have occurred in some Pauline letters to which this writer had access, or it may be an imitation.

I obtained mercy (ἠλεήθην)

Comp. 1 Timothy 1:16. In speaking of his conversion, Paul uses χάρις grace. See 1 Timothy 1:14, and the apostleship he speaks of himself as one who has obtained mercy (ἠλεημένος) of the Lord to be faithful. 1 Corinthians 7:25; comp. 2 Corinthians 4:1.

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