New American Standard Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
King James Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Darby Bible Translation
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called apostle, because I have persecuted the assembly of God.
World English Bible
For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God.
Young's Literal Translation
for I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I did persecute the assembly of God,
1 Corinthians 15:9 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For - A reason for the appellation which he had given to himself in 1 Corinthians 15:8.
I am the least of the apostles - Not on account of any defect in his commission, or any lack of qualification to bear witness in what he saw, but on account of the great crime of his life, the fact that he had been a persecutor. Paul could never forget that; as a man who has been profane and a scoffer, when he becomes converted, can never forget the deep guilt of his former life. The effect will be to produce humility, and a deep sense of unworthiness, ever onward.
Am not meet to be called an apostle - Am not fit to be regarded as a follower of the Lord Jesus, and as appointed to defend his cause, and to bear his name among the Gentiles. Paul had a deep sense of his unworthiness; and the memory of his former life tended ever to keep him humble. Such should be, and such will be, the effect of the remembrance of a life of sin on those who become converted to the gospel, and especially if they are entrusted with the high office of the ministry, and occupy a station of importance in the church of God.
Because I persecuted the church of God - See Acts 9. It is evident, however, that deeply as Paul might feel his unworthiness, and his unfitness to be called an apostle, yet that this did not render him an incompetent witness of what he had seen. He was unworthy; but he had no doubt that he had seen the Lord Jesus; and amidst all the expressions of his deep sense of his unfitness for his office, he never once intimates the slightest doubt that he had seen the Saviour. He felt himself fully qualified to testify to that; and with unwavering firmness he did testify to it to the end of life. A man may be deeply sensible that he is unworthy of an elevated station or office, and yet not the less qualified to be a witness. Humility does not disqualify a man to give testimony, but rather furnishes an additional qualification. There is no man to whom we listen more attentively, or whose words we more readily believe, than the modest and humble man, the man who has had abundant opportunities to observe that of which he testifies, and yet who is deeply humble. Such a man was the apostle Paul; and he evidently felt that, much as he felt his unworthiness, and ready as he was to confess it, yet his testimony on the subject of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus ought to have, and would have, great weight in the church at Corinth; compare the note on Acts 9:19.
LibraryFourth Sunday after Easter
Text: First Corinthians 15, 35-50. 35 But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come? 36 Thou foolish one, that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened except it die: 37 and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind; 38 but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one flesh of men, …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
Small Duties and the Great Hope
The Death of Death
The Power of the Resurrection
But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.
1 Corinthians 10:32
Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God;
2 Corinthians 12:11
I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
1 Timothy 1:15
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
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