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1 Timothy 1:13

ESV though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
NIV Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
NASB even though I was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
CSB even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief,
NLT even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.
KJV Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

What does 1 Timothy 1:13 mean?

In this passage, Paul explains his own testimony. This is important, since it shows that Paul doesn't consider himself better than those he is criticizing. He recognizes his own sin. After thanking Jesus in the previous verse, Paul speaks in graphic terms about the man he used to be. This was prior to his miraculous conversion (Acts 9:1–22).

Paul refers to three specific areas: blasphemy, aggression, and arrogance. Paul spoke against Jesus, persecuted His followers, and opposed the church. When Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, His first words were, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9:4).

The next phrase identifies what changed Paul: the mercy of God. Paul will use a similar phrase in verse 16. The Greek word used here is ēleēthēn, translated as "received mercy." The term is passive: Paul did not go out and acquire mercy, God provided it with no contribution on Paul's part. Old Testament law distinguished between intentional and unintentional sins (Numbers 15:22–31). Paul knew his heart prior to conversion was sincere, but sincerely wrong. Paul saw himself as one who sinned ignorantly until God poured out His mercy upon him.
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