I was a zealous Jew (Gal. 1:14)

“I advanced

In Judaism

Beyond many

Among my people

In my own generation.

I was far more zealous

For the traditions

Of my ancestors.”

καὶ προέκοπτον ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ ὑπὲρ πολλοὺς συνηλικιώτας ἐν τῷ γένει μου, περισσοτέρως ζηλωτὴς ὑπάρχων τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεων.

Paul said, “I advanced (καὶ προέκοπτον) in Judaism (ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ) beyond many (ὑπὲρ πολλοὺς) among my own people (συνηλικιώτας) in my generation (ἐν τῷ γένει μου).  I was far more zealous (περισσοτέρως ζηλωτὴς) for the traditions (παραδόσεων) of my ancestors (τῶν πατρικῶν μου).”  Three words that only are used here in Galatians, are Ἰουδαϊσμῷ, that means Judaism or the Jewish religion, the word συνηλικιώτας, that means one of the same age or contemporary, and the word πατρικῶν, that means paternal or ancestral.  Paul explained that he knew more about Judaism than most Jews.  He had studied Judaism in Jerusalem under the famous Jewish Rabbi Gamaliel more than any of his contemporary Jews, as mentioned in Acts, chapter 22:3.  In fact, he was more zealous for the Jewish traditions than any of them.  He was a strict Pharisee who adhered to the Jewish law.  He was more Jewish than most Jews.  Are you more Christian than most Christians?