New American Standard Bible
since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.
King James Bible
Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Darby Bible Translation
who knew me before from the outset of my life, if they would bear witness, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
World English Bible
having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Young's Literal Translation
knowing me before from the first, (if they may be willing to testify,) that after the most exact sect of our worship, I lived a Pharisee;
Acts 26:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Which knew me - Who were well acquainted with me.
From the beginning - ἄνωθεν anōthen. Formerly; or from the very commencement of my career. Who were perfectly apprised of my whole course.
If they would testify - If they would bear witness to what they know.
That after the most straitest - The most rigid; the most strict, not only in regard to the written Law of God, but to the traditions of the elders. Paul himself elsewhere testifies Philippians 3:4-6 that he had enjoyed all the advantages of birth and training in the Jewish religion, and that he had early distinguished himself by his observance of its rites and customs.
Sect - Division or party.
I lived a Pharisee - I lived in accordance with the rules and doctrines of the Pharisees. See the notes on Matthew 3:7. The reasons why Paul here refers to his early life are:
(1) As he had lived during the early period of his life without crime; as his principles had been settled by the instruction of the most able of their teachers, it was to be presumed that his subsequent life had been of a similar character.
(2) as he, at that period of his life, evinced the utmost zeal for the laws and customs of his country, it was to be presumed that he would not be found opposing or reviling them at any subsequent period. From the strictness and conscientiousness of his past life, he supposed that Agrippa might argue favorably respecting his subsequent conduct. A virtuous and religious course in early life is usually a sure pledge of virtue and integrity in subsequent years.
'And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why perseoutest thou Me! it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.'--ACTS xxvi. 14. 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?' No. But God can change the skin, because He can change the nature. In this story of the conversion of the Apostle Paul--the most important thing that happened that day--we have an instance how brambles may become vines; tares …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
'Me a Christian!'
The Advanced Christian Reminded of the Mercies of God, and Exhorted to the Exercise of Habitual Love to Him, and Joy in Him.
But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses."
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.
But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!"
circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;
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