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1 Timothy 1:13 – Calumniator, persecutor and outrager

08-11-2023 - Posted by Hans

… for He deems me faithful assigning me a service, I who formerly was a calumniator and a persecutor and an outrager…

Paul is deeply aware that it is not his own merit that Christ Jesus considers him trustworthy and has placed him in the ministry. The Lord has qualified him to do this and that is why Paul is so grateful. The contrast between the ministry in which he has been placed and his ‘previous life’ could not have been greater.

Paul summarizes his former career in three words. First of all, he was once a “calumniator.” In Greek there is a word here from which our ‘blasphemy’ is derived. As a teacher he spoke evilly and slanderously about Jesus. But that is only with words. The second word “persecutor” goes further and implies that he pursued all who belonged to Jesus and captured many of them (Acts 8:3; 22:4; 26:10). The third designation takes the cake in badness: “outrager”. Paul did not hesitate to force his way into homes and take men and women captive (Acts 8:3). Nor to force people to blaspheme by means of torture (Acts 26:11). But God had already set apart this Paul from his mother’s womb to call out in grace (Gal.1:15)!