For you have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God…
Paul knew the joints in his opponents' armour, and shows at the outset that he knew not only the opinions of the Judaisers, but the spiritual atmosphere in which they had been educated. Such a controversialist the enemy cannot afford to despise, for the battle is half won before it has commenced. It is often very annoying to a young man to be told by a mature Christian, "I thought as sceptically as you do, and spoke as rashly, believing that I was going to turn the orthodox world upside down; but I have got beyond those days, and am now a wiser man, as I trust you will be." Yet this is frequently the only way of meeting the case. The young man retires within himself, looks at rash utterances in the light of cool reflection, finds that truth and novelty are not synonymous, and is at least silent, which is a great gain to himself and to those around him.
(S. Pearson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: