Acts 22:3

I am a Jew (Egw eimi anhr Ioudaio). Note use of Egw for emphasis. Paul recounts his Jewish advantages or privileges with manifest pride as in Acts 26:4 ; 2 Corinthians 11:22 ; Galatians 1:14 ; Philippians 3:4-7 . Born (gegennhmeno). Perfect passive participle of gennaw. See above in Philippians 21:39 for the claim of Tarsus as his birth-place. He was a Hellenistic Jew, not an Aramaean Jew (cf. Acts 6:1 ). Brought up (anateqrammeno). Perfect passive participle again of anatrepw, to nurse up, to nourish up, common old verb, but in the N.T. only here, Acts 7:20 , and MSS. in Luke 4:16 . The implication is that Paul was sent to Jerusalem while still young, "from my youth" ( Acts 26:4 ), how young we do not know, possibly thirteen or fourteen years old. He apparently had not seen Jesus in the flesh ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ). At the feet of Gamaliel (pro tou poda Gamalihl). The rabbis usually sat on a raised seat with the pupils in a circle around either on lower seats or on the ground. Paul was thus nourished in Pharisaic Judaism as interpreted by Gamaliel, one of the lights of Judaism. For remarks on Gamaliel see chapter 2 Corinthians 5:34 . He was one of the seven Rabbis to whom the Jews gave the highest title Rabban (our Rabbi). Rabbi (my teacher) was next, the lowest being Rab (teacher). "As Aquinas among the schoolmen was called Doctor Angelicus, and Bonaventura Doctor Seraphicus, so Gamaliel was called the Beauty of the Law" (Conybeare and Howson). Instructed (pepaideumeno). Perfect passive participle again (each participle beginning a clause), this time of paideuw, old verb to train a child (pai) as in 2 Corinthians 7:22 which see. In this sense also in 1 Timothy 1:20 ; Titus 2:12 . Then to chastise as in Luke 23:16 Luke 23:22 (which see); 2 Timothy 2:25 ; Hebrews 12:6 . According to the strict manner (kata akribeian). Old word, only here in N.T. Mathematical accuracy, minute exactness as seen in the adjective in Hebrews 26:5 . See also Romans 10:2 ; Galatians 1:4 ; Philippians 3:4-7 . Of our fathers (patrwiou). Old adjective from pater, only here and Philippians 24:14 in N.T. Means descending from father to son, especially property and other inherited privileges. Patriko (patrician) refers more to personal attributes and affiliations. Being zealous for God (zhlwth uparcwn tou qeou). Not adjective, but substantive zealot (same word used by James of the thousands of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, Philippians 21:20 which see) with objective genitive tou qeou (for God). See also verse Philippians 14 ; Philippians 28:17 ; 2 Timothy 1:3 where he makes a similar claim. So did Peter ( Acts 3:13 ; Acts 5:30 ) and Stephen ( Acts 7:32 ). Paul definitely claims, whatever freedom he demanded for Gentile Christians, to be personally "a zealot for God" "even as ye all are this day" (kaqw pante umei este shmeron). In his conciliation he went to the limit and puts himself by the side of the mob in their zeal for the law, mistaken as they were about him. He was generous surely to interpret their fanatical frenzy as zeal for God. But Paul is sincere as he proceeds to show by appeal to his own conduct.