But this I confess unto thee
What was truth he was not ashamed of, but ready to own, and bear his testimony for, whatever was the consequence of it:
that after the way which they call heresy;
referring to the charge of his being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, ( Acts 24:5 ) and meaning by the way the Christian religion, or the doctrines of Christianity, which the Jews called heresy; and as early as this were the Christians, by them, called heretics: so we read F18 of (Mynymh tkrb) , "a prayer against the heretics", which Samuel (the little) composed before, or in the presence of R. Gamaliel the elder, he approving of it; which R. Gamaliel was Paul's master; and some have thought, that Samuel the little, the composer of this prayer, was Saul himself; so that he knew very well that the Christian doctrine was called heresy, and the Christians heretics, for he had called them so himself in the time of his unregeneracy; but now he was not ashamed to profess that way, and walk in it, and according to it worship God, as follows:
so worship I the God of my fathers;
even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, suggesting, that by embracing Christianity, he had not denied, and gone off from the worship of the one, only, living, and true God, the God of Israel; and that there was an entire agreement between the saints of the Old Testament, and the Christians of the New, in the object of worship; the Vulgate Latin version reads, "so serve I the Father, and my God"; that is, God the Father, who is the Father of Christ, and the God and Father of believers in him:
believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets;
which the Sadducees did not; and strictly adhering to these, and not to the traditions of the elders, as did the Scribes and Pharisees; so that since he believed whatever was contained in the sacred writings, he could not be charged justly with heresy; and as he believed, so he taught nothing but what was agreeably to the Scriptures of the Old Testament.
F18 Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 25. 2. Vid. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 28. 2. & 29. 1. Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 2. sect. 1.