I persecuted the church of God (Gal. 1:13)

“You have heard

Of my former life

In Judaism.

I was violently persecuting

The church of God.

I was trying

To destroy it.”

Ἠκούσατε γὰρ τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν ποτε ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ, ὅτι καθ’ ὑπερβολὴν ἐδίωκον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ ἐπόρθουν αὐτήν,

Paul explained that they, the Galatians, had heard (Ἠκούσατε γὰρ) of his former life (γὰρ τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν ποτε) in Judaism (ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ).  Paul was violently persecuting (ὅτι καθ’ ὑπερβολὴν ἐδίωκον) the church of God (τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He was trying to destroy it (καὶ ἐπόρθουν αὐτήν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀναστροφήν, that means behavior, conduct or manner of life, and this word (ὑπερβολὴν) that means a throwing beyond, excess, or superiority.  This word Ἰουδαϊσμῷ, is only used here in Galatians, that means Judaism or the Jewish religion.  Paul explained to the Galatian communities about his former life as a Jewish zealot Pharisee.  In this former life as an enthusiastic Jew, he was persecuting and trying to violently destroy the followers of Jesus Christ, as indicated in Acts, chapters 8:1-3, 9:1-2, and 26:9-11.  In his passion for Judaism, he was violent and aggressive in harassing, imprisoning, and even killing these Christ followers.  Paul did not hide his past distain for the followers of Jesus in the Church of God.  Have you ever tried to persecute any Christians?

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