Paul’s Past Hubris


When relating his former life as a persecutor of the church of Christ, the Apostle Paul describes himself as “a blasphemer…persecutor…injurious” to the cause of Christ (1 Timothy 1:13).  The original word translated “injurious” (KJV) or “insolent” (NKJV) is hubristes.

In English, the word hubris means “the excessive pride and ambition that usually leads to the downfall of a hero in classical tragedy.”  It is interesting that Paul’s hubris as an enemy of Christ led to his downfall as a Jewish hero.  He spoke boldly against Christ, and Christ triumphed.  Is it any wonder that Paul said that he counted his past life as rubbish? (Philippians 3).

-Bradley S. Cobb

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