The least (o elacisto). True superlative, not elative. Explanation of the strong word ektrwma just used. See Ephesians 3:8 where he calls himself "less than the least of all saints" and 1 Timothy 1:15 the "chief" (prwto) of sinners. Yet under attack from the Judaizers Paul stood up for his rank as equal to any apostle ( 2 Corinthians 11:5 2 Corinthians 11:23 ). Because I persecuted the church of God (ediwxa thn ekklhsian tou qeou). There were times when this terrible fact confronted Paul like a nightmare. Who does not understand this mood of contrition?