Acts 22: The Jerusalem Defense

What might have been the value in Paul saying his passion for God had been like the mob’s?

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Acts 22:1 “Men, fellow Jews, and esteemed leaders, listen to what I have to say in my defense.”
22:2 When the people heard Paul speak in Hebrew, the crowd became even more quiet.
22:3 “I am a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia, brought up under the teaching of Gamaliel, taught in the perfect ways of the Law received from our fathers. I had a zeal for God such as you have expressed today.
22:4 I persecuted the followers of Jesus, arresting both men and women, sending them to prison,
22:5 which the high priest and members of the Sanhedrin will confirm. I carried letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, to bring the followers of Jesus to Jerusalem to be punished.”
King James
Acts 22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

As Paul told his story about Jesus appearing to him on the way to Damascus, what differences of thinking might people in the audience have had?

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Acts 22:6 About noon, as I was on the road approaching Damascus, a bright light from above surrounded me.
22:7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice, saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
22:8 ‘Sir,’ I said, ‘who are you?’ The voice said, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are persecuting.’
King James
Acts 22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

Why is it more difficult to dispute a personal-experience story as opposed to theological perceptions?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 22:6 About noon, as I was on the road approaching Damascus, a bright light from above surrounded me.
22:7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice, saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
22:8 ‘Sir,’ I said, ‘who are you?’ The voice said, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are persecuting.’
King James
Acts 22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

Did Paul’s honesty in saying others saw the light but didn’t hear the voice help or hurt his case? Why or why not?

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Acts 22:9 The people with me saw the light too and were terrified, but they didn’t hear the voice speaking to me.
King James
Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

In his story, Paul asked the Lord what to do, which encouraged his audience to imagine themselves in the same situation. How might this have been helpful?

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Acts 22:10 I said to the Lord, ‘What shall I do?,’ and he said, ‘Arise, go to Damascus, and you will be told what you have been appointed to do.’
King James
Acts 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

Why would the crowd be inclined to believe his claim of being blind?

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Acts 22:11 The bright light had blinded my eyes, so my companions had to lead me by the hand to Damascus.
King James
Acts 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

Of what importance would the identification of Ananias have been?

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Acts 22:11 The bright light had blinded my eyes, so my companions had to lead me by the hand to Damascus,
22:12 where a man named Ananias lived, a devout man who kept the Law and was highly respected by the Jews there.
King James
Acts 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there.

Why would the crowd be inclined to recognize a miracle in Paul receiving his sight? How would those who chose not to believe dispute the claim?

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Acts 22:13 He came and stood before me. ‘Brother Saul,’ he said, ‘receive your sight.’ At that very moment, my eyes were opened and I looked up to behold him.
King James
Acts 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

What did Ananias say God had called Paul to do?

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Acts 22:14 The God of our ancestors has chosen you,’ he said, ‘to see the Righteous One, hear his voice, and know his will.
22:15 For you will tell your story to everyone—all you have seen and heard.’
King James
Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

Why was it important for Paul to be baptized?

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Acts 22:16 And now, what reason do you have to wait? Arise and be baptized. Call upon the name of Jesus, and let your sins be washed away.
King James
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Why might we think Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was baptized in the name of Jesus?

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Acts 19:2 “When you believed,” Paul said, “did you receive the Holy Spirit?” “No,” they said, “we’ve heard nothing about someone receiving a holy spirit.”
22:16 And now, what reason do you have to wait? Arise and be baptized. Call upon the name of Jesus, and let your sins be washed away.
King James
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Why did Paul choose to tell the crowd about Jesus appearing to him in the Temple?

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Acts 22:17 After I returned to Jerusalem, I was in the Temple praying when I fell into a trance.
22:18 I saw Jesus, who said to me, ‘Get out of Jerusalem now, because they will not accept your testimony concerning me.’
King James
Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

What was Paul’s reasoning for thinking he should not leave Jerusalem?

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Acts 22:19 I said, ‘Lord, they know I have beaten and imprisoned those who believe in you.
22:20 When your witness Stephen was stoned, I believed he should die. I was holding the coats of those who killed him.’
King James
Acts 22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

Why did Jesus say Paul should leave Jerusalem?

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Acts 22:18 I saw Jesus, who said to me, ‘Get out of Jerusalem now, because they will not accept your testimony concerning me.’
22:21 ‘Leave,’ Jesus said, ‘for I will send you to distant nations.’
King James
Acts 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

What different responses might Paul’s story have had on the people?

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Acts 22:22 After hearing Paul say this, the crowd shouted, “Get rid of this man. He should be killed.”
King James
Acts 22:22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

Could there have been a silent majority who considered the truth of Paul’s story? Why or why not?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 22:22 After hearing Paul say this, the crowd shouted, “Get rid of this man. He should be killed.”
King James
Acts 22:22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

On what legal basis could the Jews argue that Paul should be killed?

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Mark 14:64 “With your own ears you have heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He should be put to death.”
Acts 22:22 After hearing Paul say this, the crowd shouted, “Get rid of this man. He should be killed.”
King James
Mark 14:64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
Acts 22:22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

What was the significance of the crowd screaming, shedding their coats, and throwing dust?

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Acts 22:23 While screaming, they tore off their coats and threw dust at him.
King James
Acts 22:23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air.

By what means did the Roman captain expect to discover the truth?

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Acts 22:24 The captain ordered his soldiers to take Paul into the fortress to be beaten and confess his crime, for he wanted to find out why the crowd was so furious.
King James
Acts 22:24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

In Philippi, earlier, Paul didn’t use his Roman citizenship as a defense against beating, so why did he use it in Jerusalem?

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Acts 16:22 A mob cried out against them, so the officials ordered the men stripped and beaten with rods.
22:25 When they tied him with leather straps to be beaten, Paul looked to the officer standing nearby. “Is it lawful for you to beat a Roman before he has been judged and condemned?”
King James
Acts 16:22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

How did Roman citizenship change the captain’s view of Paul?

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Acts 21:38 I thought you were the Egyptian who stirred up the people and harbored four thousand terrorists in the wilderness.
22:26 So the officer went to the captain and said, “You might want to reconsider your order, since this man is a Roman.”
22:27 Then the captain went to see Paul. “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes,” Paul said, “I am.”
22:28 “So am I,” the captain said. “I paid a huge sum for this freedom. How much did you pay?” “Nothing,” Paul said. “I was born free.”
22:29 Immediately, the plan for Paul’s beating was abandoned. The captain feared the consequence of causing a Roman to be bound.
King James
Acts 21:38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
22:26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
22:27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

What was the captain’s motive in having Paul appear before the leading priests and members of the Sanhedrin?

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Acts 22:30 He still wanted to know the exact nature of the Jews’ accusation, so he released Paul the next day and had him stand before a meeting of the leading priests and members of the Sanhedrin.
King James
Acts 22:30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.