Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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ACTS - Chapter 22

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Acts 22

Supplemental Commentary:

THE MISSIONARY JOURNEYS OF ST. PAUL  13, 1 -- 28, 31 (continued)

4.  Imprisonment in Palestine  21, 17 -- 26, 32 (continued)

22, 22-29:  Paul's Citizenship.  Their fury was aroused again by the reference to the Gentiles because in their eyes St. Paul's great offense was that he had been putting the Gentiles on a level with the Jews.    24.  Barracks: the Antonia at the northwest corner of the temple area with stairs leading down to the Court of the Gentiles.    28.  In the corruption of the Empire the rights of Roman citizenship were for sale.  St. Paul inherited his citizenship, but it is not stated how his father obtained the privilege.    29.  The binding is that in preparation for scourging (25).  He would still bear whatever fetters they thought necessary to keep a prisoner safe.

22, 30 -- 23, 11:  The Sanhedrin.    30.  Inquiry by torture being now out of the question, the tribune decided on an investigation before the Sanhedrin.  [Commentary on this section is continued at the beginning of the next chapter.]

Confraternity Bible:

1 "Brethren and fathers, listen to what I have to say to you in my defense."  2 And when they heard him speak to them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet.

3 And he said: "I am a Jew, and I was born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but was brought up here in this city, a pupil of Gamaliel, and instructed according to the strict acceptation of the Law of our fathers.  I was zealous for the Law just as all of you are today.  4* And I persecuted this Way even to the death, binding and committing to prisons both men and women, 5 as the high priest can bear me witness, and all the elders.  In fact I received letters from them to the brethren in Damascus, and I was on my way to arrest those who were there and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.

6 "And it came to pass that, as I was on my way and approaching Damascus, suddenly about noon there shone round about me a great light from heaven; 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?'  8 And I answered, 'Who art thou, Lord?'  And he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou art persecuting?'  9 And my companions saw indeed the light, but they did not hear the voice of him who was speaking to me.  10 And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?'  And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there thou shalt be told of all that thou art destined to do.'  11 And as I could not see because of the dazzling light,  my companions had to lead me by the hand, and so I reached Damascus.

12 "Now one Ananias, an observer of the Law, respected by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me and, standing beside me, said to me, 'Brother Saul, regain thy sight.'  And instantly I looked at him.  14 And he said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed thee beforehand to learn his will and to see the Just One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for thou shalt be his witness before all men of what thou hast seen and heard.  16 And now why dost thou delay?  Get up and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.'

17 "And it came to pass that, when I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I was in an ecstasy 18 and saw him as he said to me, 'Make haste and go quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.'  19 And I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that I used to imprison and beat in one synagogue after another those who believed in thee; 20 and when the blood of Stephen, thy witness, was shed, I was standing by and approved it, and took charge of the garments of those who killed him.'  21 And he said to me, 'Go, for to the Gentiles far away I will send thee.'"

Paul's Citizenship  22 Now, till he said this they were listening to him, but then they lifted up their voice and shouted, "Away from the earth with such a one! for it is not right that he should live."  23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their garments and casting dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be taken into the barracks and to be scourged and tortured that he might find out why they shouted so against him.

25 But when they had bound him with the straps, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it legal for you to scourge a Roman, and that without a trial?"  26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and reported, saying, "What art thou about to do?  This man is a Roman citizen?"  27 Then the tribune came and said to him, "Tell me, art thou a Roman?"  And he said, "Yes."  28 And the tribune answered, "I obtained this citizenship at a great price."  And Paul said, "But I am a citizen by birth."  29 At once therefore those who had been going to torture him left him; and the tribune himself was alarmed to find that Paul was a Roman citizen, and that he had bound him.

The Sanhedrin  30 The next day, as he wished to find out the real reason why he was accused by the Jews, he loosed him and ordered the priests and all the Sanhedrin to assemble; and taking Paul forth, he placed him in front of them.


4: Way: the Christian manner of life.