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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 14

Verse 14. And profited. Made advances and attainments. He made advances not only in the knowledge of the Jewish religion, but also he surpassed others in his zeal in defending its interests, he had had better advantages than most of his countrymen; and by his great zeal and characteristic ardour, he had been able to make higher attainments than most others had done.

Above many my equals. Marg. equals in years. This is the true sense of the original. It means that he surpassed those of the same age with himself. Possibly there may be a reference here to those of the same age who attended with him on the instructions of Gamaliel.

Being more exceedingly zealous. More studious of; more ardently attached to them; more anxious to distinguish himself in attainments in the religion in which he was brought up. All this is fully sustained by all that we know of the character of Paul, as at all times a man of singular and eminent zeal in all that he undertook.

Of the traditions of my fathers. Of the traditions of the Jews. See Barnes "Mt 15:2".

A large part of the doctrines of the Pharisees depended on mere tradition; and Paul doubtless made this a special matter of study, and was particularly tenacious in regard to it. It was to be learned, from the very nature of it, only by oral teaching, as there is no evidence that it was then recorded. Subsequently these traditions were recorded in the Mishna, and are found in the Jewish writings. But in the time of Paul they were to be learned as they were handed down from one to another; and hence the utmost diligence was requisite to obtain a knowledge of them. Paul does not here say that he was zealous then for the practice of the new religion, nor for the study of the Bible. His object in going to Jerusalem, and studying at the feet of Gamaliel, was doubtless to obtain a knowledge of the traditions of the sect of the Pharisees. Had he been studying the Bible all that time, he would have kept from the fiery zeal which he evinced in persecuting the church, and would, if he had studied it right, have been saved from much trouble of conscience afterwards.

{|} "profited" "Made a proficiency" {1} "my equals" "equals in years" {d} "being more exceedingly zealous" Ac 22:3; Php 3:6 {e} "traditions" Mr 7:5-13

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