(AMP) And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one premature and born dead [no better than an unperfected fetus among living men].
(GW) Last of all, he also appeared to me. I’m like an aborted fetus who was given life.1 Corinthians 15:8
Paul’s reference ‘He appeared to me also’ refers to his Damascus road experience. At the time of his conversion, clearly Paul not only heard the voice of Christ, but saw him as well. However the crux of this verse is on the interpretation of ἔκτρωμα [ektrōma] as translated in many versions as “born out of time”. The expression, “as of one born out of due time,” would seem to imply that Paul meant to say that there was something unsuitable “as to the time” when he saw the Lord Jesus; or that it was “too late” to have as clear and satisfactory a view of him as those had who saw him before his ascension. That Paul considers himself as coming after the time in which Jesus Christ personally conversed with his disciples; and that, therefore, to see him at all, he must see him in this extraordinary way. But this is not the meaning of the passage.
As a child born before the due time is puny, and though born alive, yet not of the proper size, and scarcely worthy of the name of man, the word used here ἔκτρωμα [ektrōma] properly means an abortion, one born prematurely. It is found no where else in the New Testament; and here it means, as the following verse shows, one that was “exceedingly unworthy;” that was not worthy of regard, one unfit to be employed in the service of the Lord Jesus. An abortion in the family of the apostles.
The word occurs (in the Septuagint) in Job 3:16; Ecc 6:3, as the translation of נפל nephel, an abortion, or untimely birth. The expression seems to be proverbial, and to denote anything that is vile, offensive, loathsome, unworthy. The word can’t refer to the kind of “training” of the apostle, as if he had not had the same training as the others had. Indeed he was well trained. Bloomfield thinks Paul was like an untimely born child compared with one that had come to maturity before its birth. Nor does it refer to his diminutive stature (à la Wetstein). Rather it means that he felt himself “vile,” guilty, unworthy, abominable as a persecutor, and as such unworthy to be an apostle. The verse following shows that this is the sense in which the word is used.
Rosenmuller says that those who were beyond the number of twelve senators were termed abortivi, abortives; and refers to Suetonius in Octavio, cap. 35. According to Suetonius, in that place, they were called orcini – persons who had assumed the senatorial dignity after the death of Julius Caesar, pretending that they had derived that honour from him. It is possible that Paul refers to it in that way, meaning that he was an apostle without the same quality of the others. One who was an excuse for an apostle, not of the same ilk, one who came along after the fact – an abortion of an apostle. Strong words, but Paul’s own.
Just because you wouldn’t choose you doesn’t mean God wouldn’t choose you! God doesn’t take His cues from you!Andy Stanley
A friend is someone who knows all about you, and yet still likes you nonetheless.Sidney Mohede
Esteem means to regard with respect, to appreciate. Have you ESTEEMED yourself today? That’s why it’s called SELF-ESTEEM!A R Bernard
You’re not defeated until your doubts and regrets take the place of your dreams.Bob Gass