Galatians 1:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 1:13, NIV: For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.

Galatians 1:13, ESV: For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.

Galatians 1:13, KJV: 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:

Galatians 1:13, NASB: For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;

Galatians 1:13, NLT: You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion--how I violently persecuted God's church. I did my best to destroy it.

Galatians 1:13, CSB: For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism: I intensely persecuted God's church and tried to destroy it.

What does Galatians 1:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has stated that anyone who attempts to preach a different gospel is, in fact, preaching something entirely false and is worthy of being cursed (Galatian 1:8–9). And yet, a group known as the Judaizers has been attempting to persuade Christians in Galatia that Paul was not trustworthy. Paul has stated unequivocally that he learned what he taught to them directly from Jesus Himself.

To make that case, Paul now begins to remind his readers of his own personal story. After all, he was once one of the most prominent persecutors of Christians. His goal was nothing less than to destroy the "church of God" by any means necessary, including violence. According to Acts 26:9, he "was convinced that [he] ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth." This included imprisoning believers, casting his vote to have them executed, and chasing them down even to cities outside of Israel.

Most famously, Paul's first appearance in the Bible is at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1–3).