Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind…
Paul could not have meant that he literally forgot the past, for had he done so, both present and future would have been alike useless to him. The past is the sculptor, the ten thousand touches of whose chisel have given to our present lives the shapes they wear; it is the painter too that has coloured these forms with every tint and hue they bear. All the influences that have made our actual characters what they now are came out of the past, just as the seed sown in earlier seasons, with their sunshine and rain, make the subsequent harvest. Were we to forget past knowledge, ours would be the ignorance of infancy; if past experiences were obliterated, our imbecility would be that of idiocy. If history is philosophy teaching by example, the erasure of the remembrance of the events of our own history would strip both philosophy and religion of the power to teach at all.
(M. D. Hoge, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,