Verse of the Day

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pastor's Sermon Notes: The Initial Hearing Before Felix Acts (24:1-21)

The Initial Hearing Before Felix
Acts 24:1-21

1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. 2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, 3  We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. 4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. 5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: 6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. 7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, 8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him. 9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so. 10 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: 11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. 12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: 13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. 17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. 18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult. 19 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me. 20 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, 21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.


Introduction:

Paul finally made it to Jerusalem. And now Paul has made it alive out of Jerusalem. Paul has been interrupted every time he had opportunity to speak in Jerusalem in his own defense.

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.”

Let’s see Paul’s accusers interrupt him now! Let’s see them treat him like they did in Jerusalem, now that the Romans are in control of the hearing in Caesarea!

Outline:

I. The Prosecution Presented by Tertullus for the Jews (24:1-9)
1. The Occasion for the Prosecution (24:1)
2. The Presentation of the Charges (24:2-8)
3. The Affirmation of the Accusations (24:9)
II. Paul’s Self-Defense (24:10-21)
1. Paul’s Readiness to Speak to Felix in His Own Defense (24:10)
2. Paul’s Response to the First Charge (24:11-13)
3. Paul’s Response to the Second Charge (24:14-21)

Transition: 

It is important to keep in mind two items of vital background information as this hearing begins:

1. The letter from Claudius Lysias to Felix, and,

2. The historical information about the character of Felix, and the impact of his rule on the Jews.

I. The Prosecution Presented by Tertullus for the Jews (24:1-9)

1. The Occasion for the Prosecution (24:1)
2. The Presentation of the Charges (24:2-8)
3. The Affirmation of the Accusations (24:9)

1. The Occasion for the Prosecution (24:1)

1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

“a certain orator named Tertullus” - This is a smooth move on the part of the Jews. They seem aware of the carefulness they need to operate with given this change of venue, which has removed the prosecution of Paul from their control. This is about playing politics, and attempting to win over Felix to their side with a skilled spokesman. How they are operating now is quite different from the incidents which Claudius Lysias witness in their midst in Jerusalem!

2. The Presentation of the Charges (24:2-8)

1) The Flattery of Felix (24:2-4)
2) The First Charge — Sedition, a violation of Roman Law (24:5)
3) The Second Charge — Desecration, a violation of Jewish Law (24:6)
4) The Complication — Prosecution in the proper venue prevented by Lysias (24:7-8)

1) The Flattery of Felix (24:2-4)

 2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
 3  We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
 4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.

Read: “You have been a royal pain to our nation, the cause of great disruptions among our people. You have been guilty of many criminal offenses in your corrupt rule, which rule we reject bitterly, and thus expect no fair hearing or justice at your hands.”

If this were a ball game, there would not be 9 innings. There is only one inning in this ball game, and Tertullus is on the mind. There will only be 3 pitches thrown, and if they are not strikes then the side will be retired. However, this pitch sets the pace for this first half of this one inning ball game. Tertullus is throwing illegal pitches that were gradually outlawed between 1919 and 1934. They were nicknamed “spit balls.” It does not look good for Tertullus if this is the best Ananias has in his dugout!

2) The First Charge — Sedition, a violation of Roman Law (24:5)

 5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

Read: “No one could be more disturbing to our troublemaking than he who was authorized by us to persecute the followers of Jesus Christ, whom we crucified.”

3) The Second Charge — Desecration, a violation of Jewish Law (24:6)

 6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.

Read: “…would have murdered in cold blood.”

4) The Complication — Prosecution in the proper venue prevented by Lysias (24:7-8)

 7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, 8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.

There is a textual issue involving the end of verse 6, all of verse 7, and the beginning of verse 8.
However, without these words we are left with no explanation for the determination of Felix in verse 22: “And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.”

Read: “…who prevented the violence that we were about to perpetrate.”

3. The Affirmation of the Accusations (24:9)

 9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.

The many against the one.
This is a familiar scenario in the history of the faithful!
From Noah, to Elijah, from Christ to Paul, from Athanasius to Martin Luther, it has been the same!

2 Timothy 4:16-18 — 16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Note: What Paul refers to in this “swan song,” his final epistle prior to his execution, may possibly refer to his attempt at an informal defense in Acts 22:1, to this this event which stands as a formal pre-trial hearing, or to an unknown initial hearing in Rome before Caesar.

II. Paul’s Self-Defense (24:10-21)

1. Paul’s Readiness to Speak to Felix in His Own Defense (24:10)
2. Paul’s Response to the First Charge (24:11-13)
3. Paul’s Response to the Second Charge (24:14-21)

1. Paul’s Readiness to Speak to Felix in His Own Defense (24:10)

 10 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:

No flattery here! What a contrast to the opening statement by the “orator”!

2. Paul’s Response to the First Charge (24:11-13)

1) The Time Period Involved in the Charge Insufficient (24:11)
2) The Absence of Activity Anywhere to Substantiate the Charge (24:12)
3) The Absence of any Proof of the Charges (24:13)

1) The Time Period Involved in the Charge Insufficient (24:11)

 11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.

The significant point here is the limited time period: “yet but twelve days.”

They give me an awful lot of credit if they claim that he could do all of this in less than two weeks!

2) The Absence of Activity Anywhere to Substantiate the Charge (24:12)

 12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:

Paul makes a specific point about the fact that he never engaged in any arguments, nor attempted to stir up anyone in any venue: not in the Temple, or in any of the synagogues in Jerusalem, nor in public.

3) The Absence of any Proof of the Charges (24:13)

 13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.

Where is their proof?

3. Paul’s Response to the Second Charge (24:14-21)

1) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence According to the Scriptures (24:14-16)
2) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence Regarding the Charge of Desecration (24:17-19)
3) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence Before the Jewish Council (24:20-21)

1) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence According to the Scriptures (24:14-16)

 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

What they call heresy, I call the truth of God!

My faith and my worship is rooted in the Scriptures!

My hope is in something that they themselves will not deny, the general resurrection of the dead!

My conscience is clear, and I am not guilty of anything against God or men!

2) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence Regarding the Charge of Desecration (24:17-19)

 17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. 18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult. 19 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.

Here is what really happened!

Any tumult was their doing!

Where are the individuals who fabricated this false accusation, and created the initial disruption in the Temple?

Why aren’t they here?

3) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence Before the Jewish Council (24:20-21)

 20 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, 21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.

Why didn’t they deal with this in their own council when they had the opportunity?

The only real issue on the table that there is any proof of at all is my belief in the resurrection!

Conclusion:

The many against the one.
This is a familiar scenario in the history of the faithful!
From Noah, to Elijah, from Christ to Paul, from Athanasius to Martin Luther, it has been the same!

2 Timothy 4:16-18 — 16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul could stand alone.
You can stand alone.

Paul was not really alone.
You are not not ever really alone.

Paul was a prisoner, who was not free to go where he wanted.
He would not have chosen this avenue.

Paul had been the subject of violent and frightening opposition.
He did not anticipate this turn of events.

However, Paul keeps speaking of hope.
Paul is looking far beyond his circumstances, and the events of this life.

With the eye of hope he sees and seizes opportunities like this to witness to Christ and the truth of God’s ultimate triumph over death and sin.
Opportunities continue to be laid before the people of God even in the midst of violent persectution, unjust imprisonment, and wicked false accusations.

God does not just “use” wicked turns of events.
God designs and controls every event.

He is not in the business of merely “making the best of a bad situation.”
God’s best is every situation He places His people into.

The way of the cross is His way.
What the eye of the flesh considers the worst things that can happen, the eye of faith understands as the best.

His hand does not just hold the future.
God’s hand has shaped our past, and is in absolute control of our present.

Complete outline:

I. The Prosecution Presented by Tertullus for the Jews (24:1-9)

1. The Occasion for the Prosecution (24:1)

2. The Presentation of the Charges (24:2-8)

1) The Flattery of Felix (24:2-4)

2) The First Charge — Sedition, a violation of Roman Law (24:5)

3) The Second Charge — Desecration, a violation of Jewish Law (24:6)

4) The Complication — Prosecution in the proper venue prevented by Lysias (24:7-8)

3. The Affirmation of the Accusations (24:9)

II. Paul’s Self-Defense (24:10-21)

1. Paul’s Readiness to Speak to Felix in His Own Defense (24:10)

2. Paul’s Response to the First Charge (24:11-13)

1) The Time Period Involved in the Charge Insufficient (24:11)

2) The Absence of Activity Anywhere to Substantiate the Charge (24:12)

3) The Absence of any Proof of the Charges (24:13)

3. Paul’s Response to the Second Charge (24:14-21)

1) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence According to the Scriptures (24:14-16)

2) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence Regarding the Charge of Desecration (24:17-19)

3) Paul’s Declaration of Innocence Before the Jewish Council (24:20-21)

[Sermon preached 22 MAR 2015 by Pastor John T. “Jack” Jeffery at Wayside Gospel Chapel, Greentown, PA.]

Appendix 1 — Resources on Acts

G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, eds., Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), pp. 513-606.

Paul Barnett, The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years, After Jesus, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005).

Darrell L. Bock, Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).
                                                  
F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951, 1952).

Dennis E. Johnson, The Message of Acts in the History of Redemption (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1997).

I. Howard Marshall, Acts: An Introduction And Commentary, Vol. 5 in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. Leon Morris (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980; 2008 reprint).

David G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles, in The Pillar New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009).

John B. Polhill, Acts, Vol. 26 in The New American Commentary, gen. ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, Publishers, 1992).

Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Vol. 5 in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, gen. ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012).

W. C. van Unnik, “The ‘Book of Acts’ the Confirmation of the Gospel,” in Novum Testamentum 4:1 (OCT 1960), pp. 26-59; reprinted in The Composition of Luke’s Gospel: Selected Studies from Novum Testamentum, compiled by David E. Orton, Vol. 1 of Brill’s Readers in Biblical Studies (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 184-218.

William H. Willimon, Acts, in Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, series ed. James Luther Mays, New Testament ed. Paul J. Achtemeier (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010).

Appendix 2 — Resources on Paul

Kenneth E. Bailey, Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians  (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011).

F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977).

D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), pp. 496-501.

W. J. Conybeare and J. S. Howson, The Life, Times and Travels of St. Paul, 2 vols. in 1, unabridged American ed. (New York: E. B. Treat U Co., 1869); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=Bn1CAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 12 FEB 2013].

Adolf Deissmann, Paul: A Study in Social and Religious History, 2nd ed., trans. William E. Wilson (New York: Harper Torchbooks, n.d.).

F. W. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul (New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., 1889); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=RB2KeCSM6KsC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 12 FEB 2013].

Bruce N. Fisk, “Paul: Life and Letters”, in The Face of New Testament Studies: A Survey of Recent Research, ed. Scot McKnight and Grant R. Osborne (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), pp. 283-325.

Richard B.Gaffin, Jr., "Acts and Paul", 46 lectures (MP3 format), WTS Resources Media Center on Westminster Theological Seminary at http://wts.edu/resources/media.html?paramType=audio&filterTopic=5&filterSpeaker=10&filterYear=2005 [accessed 20 MAR 2013].

Frank J. Goodwin, A Harmony of the Life of the St. Paul According to the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Epistles (New York: American Tract Society, 1895); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=YgpEAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 12 FEB 2013].

Richard N. Longenecker, The Ministry And Message Of Paul (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971).

Richard N. Longenecker, Paul, Apostle Of Liberty (New York: Harper & Row, 1964).

Richard N. Longenecker, ed., The Road From Damascus : The Impact Of Paul's Conversion On His Life, Thought, And Ministry (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997).

Richard N. Longenecker, Studies In Paul, Exegetical And Theological (Sheffield : Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2004).

J. Gresham Machen, The Origin of Paul's Religion: The James Sprunt Lectures Delivered at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1925).

Leon Morris, The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1955).

John Pollock, The Apostle: A Life of Paul, 3rd ed. (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1969, 2012); also published as The Man Who Shook the World (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1972; originally The Apostle: A Life of Paul, New York: Doubleday, 1969).

Stanley E. Porter, Paul in Acts, in Library of Pauline Studies, gen. ed. Stanley E. Porter (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1999; 2001 reprint of The Paul of Acts: Essays in Literary Criticism, Rhetoric and Theology, in Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 115, by Mohr Siebeck, Tubingen).

W. M. Ramsay, The Cities of St. Paul: Their Influence on his Life and Thought (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Son; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1908); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=JryEbmKool0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

W. M. Ramsay, Pauline and Other Studies in Early Christian History (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Son, 1906); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=-1ZJAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 10th ed. (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1907); on Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/ramsay/paul_roman.html [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

W. M. Ramsay, The Teaching of Paul in terms of The Present Day: The Deems Lectures in New York University (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914); on Internet Archive at http://ia600404.us.archive.org/2/items/teachingofpaulin00rams/teachingofpaulin00rams.pdf [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

A. T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life of Paul: A Study of Development in Paul's Character (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974).

Eckhard J. Schnabel, Paul The Missionary: Realities, Strategies And Methods (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008).

Udo Schnelle, Apostle Paul: His Life and Theology, trans. M. Eugene Boring (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003; trans. from Paulus: Leben und Denken, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co., n.d.).

Thomas R. Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God's Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2001).

James Stalker, The Life of St. Paul, (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1885; rev. ed. 2010 by Kessinger Publishing from 1912 ed.); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=vT0HAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 7 FEB 2013].


James Ironside Still, St. Paul on Trial (London: Student Christian Movement, 1923).

Pastor's Sermon Notes: An Assassination Plot Foiled (Acts 23:11-35)

An Assassination Plot Foiled
Acts 23:11-35

11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. 12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy. 14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. 15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him. 16 And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul. 17 Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him. 18 So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee. 19 Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me? 20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly. 21 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee. 22 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me. 23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; 24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor. 25 And he wrote a letter after this manner: 26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting. 27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman. 28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council: 29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds. 30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell. 31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32  On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle: 33 Who, when they came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him. 34 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia; 35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall.


Outline:

I. The Encouragement of Paul from the Lord (23:11)
II. The Plot to Assassinate Paul (23:12-15)
III. The Conspiracy Exposed by Paul’s Nephew (23:16-21)
IV. The Response of Claudius Lysias to the Threat (23:22-24)
V. The Letter from Tribune Claudius Lysias to Governor Felix (23:25-30)
VI. The Audience before Felix granted to Paul (23:31-34)

I. The Encouragement of Paul from the Lord (23:11)

And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Other incidents involving direct revelation to Paul: Acts 9:4; 16:9; 18:9f.; 22:17; 27:23f.

Who is in control here?

How good is His Word?

Consider the timing of this revelation to Paul!

Christ will force the hand of his enemies. Rather than silencing Paul, or ending his life, their efforts will have the opposite effect. The Enthroned Messiah will see to it that their efforts actually produce an expanded opportunity for Paul to bear his testimony while being protected by Christ, using the Roman military authority as a means.

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

II. The Plot to Assassinate Paul (23:12-15)

 12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy. 14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. 15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.

1. The Seriousness of the Plot (23:12-13) - Their Murderous Intent
2. The Expansion of the Plot (23:14-15) - Their Official Deceit

1. The Seriousness of the Plot (23:12-13) - Their Murderous Intent

bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul

In verse 14 they characterize this curse as “a great curse.”

2. The Expansion of the Plot (23:14-15) - Their Official Deceit

as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

III. The Conspiracy Exposed by Paul’s Nephew (23:16-21)

 16 And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul. 17 Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him. 18 So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee. 19 Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me? 20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly. 21 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.

1. Word of the Conspiracy comes to Paul (23:16)
2. Word of the Conspiracy comes to Claudius Lysias (23:17-21)

1. Word of the Conspiracy comes to Paul (23:16)

Paul’s sister’s son

“The sudden introduction of Paul’s nephew is interesting; we wish we knew more about Paul’s relations with his family, which might provide a background to this incident.”[1]

“All attempts to learn about this young man and how he got wind of what was happening are speculative, and we must be content to remain ignorant about Paul’s family connections in Jerusalem.”[2]

2. Word of the Conspiracy comes to Claudius Lysias (23:17-21)

1) The Secrecy of the Information Maintained (23:17-19)
2) The Details of the Conspiracy Explained (23:20-21)

1) The Secrecy of the Information Maintained (23:17-19)

(1) he hath a certain thing to tell him

(2) who hath something to say unto thee

(3) the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately

Paul the prisoner — cp. the following!
Eph. 3:1 — I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles
Eph. 4:1 — I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord
2 Tim. 1:8 - Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner
Phile. 1 — Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ
Phile. 9 —  being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ

2) The Details of the Conspiracy Explained (23:20-21)

(1) The Duplicity (23:20)

The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.

(2) The Conspiracy (23:21)

But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

IV. The Response of Claudius Lysias to the Threat (23:22-24)

 22 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me. 23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; 24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.

1. The Response of Claudius Lysias in the Charge to Paul’s Nephew (23:22)
2. The Response of Claudius Lysias in the Order to the Centurions (23:23-24)

1. The Response of Claudius Lysias in the Charge to Paul’s Nephew (23:22)

So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.

2. The Response of Claudius Lysias in the Order to the Centurions (23:23-24)

23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; 24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.

Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred

Bruce refers to these as “the three constituents of the Roman army.”[3]
Marshall remarks, “This amounted to nearly half the Jerusalem garrison…”[4]

Bring Enough Gun![5]

Never bring a knife to a gunfight! Or in this case to sword/spear fight![6]

spearmen — “The last word translates an otherwise unknown Greek word, which is interpreted in this way in the Latin version.”[7]

The 40 assassins will now have to face 200 infantry, 70 cavalrymen, and 200 spearmen — for a total of 470 Roman warriors — in order to fulfill their blood oath!

The Lord to the conspirators: “I’ll see your 40, and raise you 430 well armed warriors!”

Jesus with Paul is a majority. 470 Roman soldiers is just the icing on the cake!

Ps. 2:1-4 - 1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Ps. 37:12-15 - 12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

Ps. 59:1-10 - Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. 3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.
4 They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. 5 Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. 6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? 8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. 9 Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.

Felix the governor — Described by Tacitus as, “per omnem saeuitiam ac libidinem ius regium seruili ingenio exercuit,”[8] which is often cited. One translation of this is: “…he exercised royal power with the mind of a slave.”[9]
The context for this assessment of Felix — with another translation of this phrase — follows:
“The kings were either dead, or reduced to insignificance, when Claudius entrusted the province of Judaea to the Roman Knights or to his own freedmen, one of whom, Antonius Felix, indulging in every kind of barbarity and lust, exercised the power of a king in the spirit of a slave. He had married Drusilla, the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra, and so was the grandson-in-law, as Claudius was the grandson, of Antony.”[10]

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

V. The Letter from Tribune Claudius Lysias to Governor Felix (23:25-30)

 25 And he wrote a letter after this manner: 26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting. 27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman. 28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council: 29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds. 30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.

This official letter from the military commander in Jerusalem to the political administrator of the province constitutes a “bill of particulars” containing a recounting of the three incidents along with a preliminary determination of Paul’s innocence. “It is the only secular letter in the New Testament.”[11]

So! You want to accuse Paul, do you? Well, do it now before the Governor!

Oh, and another thing! If you still want to go for it, you will have to do it in his Palace in Caesarea, not in your comfort zone in Jerusalem!

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

VI. Paul Granted an Audience before Felix the Governor (23:31-34)

 31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32  On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle: 33 Who, when they came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him. 34 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia; 35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall.

Antipatris — either via main road through Lydda, or hill road by Bethel, apx. 25 miles south of Caesarea — over half the distance from Jerusalem to Caesarea, 37 miles north of Jerusalem, and 10 miles north of Lydda.[12]

Caesarea — apx. 60-65 miles from Jerusalem.

Cilicia — The political area that Tarsus, Paul’s home city lies in.

Herod’s judgment hall — In modern translations this has been transliterated — as in the Latin — as “Praetorium” (NASB, ESV), or translated as “palace” (HCSB, NIV), and “headquarters” (NLT).

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Conclusion:

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Later:

Ac 27:22-25 - 22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

2 Ti 4:17 - Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Others:

Mt 9:2 - And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Mt. 14:24-27 - 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

Us:

Jn 16:33 - These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Complete outline:

I. The Encouragement of Paul from the Lord (23:11)
II. The Plot to Assassinate Paul (23:12-15)
III. The Conspiracy Exposed by Paul’s Nephew (23:16-21)
IV. The Response of Claudius Lysias to the Threat (23:22-24)
V. The Letter from Tribune Claudius Lysias to Governor Felix (23:25-30)
VI. The Audience before Felix granted to Paul (23:31-34)

[Sermon preached 15 MAR 2015 by Pastor John T. “Jack” Jeffery at Wayside Gospel Chapel, Greentown, PA.]

Appendix 1 — Resources cited in Notes

F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951, 1952).

I. Howard Marshall, Acts: An Introduction And Commentary, Vol. 5 in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. Leon Morris (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980; 2008 reprint).

Tacitus, The Histories, trans. Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, on The Internet Classics Archive at http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/histories.html [accessed 31 MAR 2015].

Appendix 2 — on the word translated “spearmen” in Acts 23:23

“The unusual word δεξιολάβος (this is its first appearance, and it does not occur again until the sixth century) seems to mean ‘spearman’(cf. LS9), lit., ‘taking (a spear) in the right hand’ (cf. vg lancearios)…”
— F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951, 1952), pg. 416.

  “89 tn A military technical term of uncertain meaning. BDAG 217 s.v. δεξιολάβος states, “a word of uncertain mng., military t.t., acc. to Joannes Lydus…and Theophyl. Sim., Hist. 4, 1 a light-armed soldier, perh. bowman, slinger; acc. to a scholion in CMatthaei p. 342 body-guard….Spearman Goodspd., NRSV; ‘security officer’, GDKilpatrick, JTS 14, ’63, 393f.””
— “NET Bible” note on Lumina at https://lumina.bible.org/bible/Acts+23 [accessed 13 MAR 2015].

 “The term translated “spearmen” (δεξιολάβοι) is a near hapax, only occurring in later Greek literature from the seventh and tenth centuries a.d. Meaning literally holding with the right hand, it is translated “spearman” or “lancers” in the early Latin versions. G. D. Kilpatrick cites an ancient scholion in which it is said that the δεξιολάβοι were “police officers.” He argues from this that they were local Jerusalem militia and not part of the Roman cohort, thus reducing the drain on the Jerusalem garrison (“Acts xxiii, 23. Dexiolaboi,” JTS 14 [1963]: 393f.).”
— John B. Polhill, Acts, Vol. 26 in The New American Commentary, gen. ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, Publishers, 1992), pg. 474, note 86.

See also the following:

F. Blass, and A. Debrunner, trans. and rev. Robert W. Funk, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 9th ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1961), pg. 64, § 119(1).

Darrell L. Bock, Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), pg. 681.

G. D. Kilpatrick, “Acts xxiii, 23. Dexiolaboi,” Journal of Theological Studies 14 (1963), pp. 393ff.[13]

Johannes P. Louw, and Eugene A. Nida, eds., Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, 2 vols., 2nd ed. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1988, 1966, elec. ed. 1996), I:551, § 55.22.

James Hope Moulton and Wilbert Francis Howard, Accidence and Word-Formation, Vol. II in James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, n.d.), pp. 272-273.[14]

James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated from the Papyrii and other Non-literary Sources, one-volume ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., n.d., 1976 reprint; from 1930 orig. by Hodder & Stoughton, London), pp. 140-141.

David G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles, in The Pillar New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009), pg. 623.

A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), pp. 168, 232.

Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Vol. 5 in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, gen. ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), pg. 936.

Appendix 3 — Resources on Acts

G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, eds., Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), pp. 513-606.

Paul Barnett, The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years, After Jesus, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005).

Darrell L. Bock, Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).
                                                  
F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951, 1952).

Dennis E. Johnson, The Message of Acts in the History of Redemption (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1997).

I. Howard Marshall, Acts: An Introduction And Commentary, Vol. 5 in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. Leon Morris (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980; 2008 reprint).

David G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles, in The Pillar New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009).

John B. Polhill, Acts, Vol. 26 in The New American Commentary, gen. ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, Publishers, 1992).

Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Vol. 5 in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, gen. ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012).

W. C. van Unnik, “The ‘Book of Acts’ the Confirmation of the Gospel,” in Novum Testamentum 4:1 (OCT 1960), pp. 26-59; reprinted in The Composition of Luke’s Gospel: Selected Studies from Novum Testamentum, compiled by David E. Orton, Vol. 1 of Brill’s Readers in Biblical Studies (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 184-218.

William H. Willimon, Acts, in Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, series ed. James Luther Mays, New Testament ed. Paul J. Achtemeier (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010).

Appendix 4 — Resources on Paul

Kenneth E. Bailey, Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians  (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011).

F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977).

D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), pp. 496-501.

W. J. Conybeare and J. S. Howson, The Life, Times and Travels of St. Paul, 2 vols. in 1, unabridged American ed. (New York: E. B. Treat U Co., 1869); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=Bn1CAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 12 FEB 2013].

Adolf Deissmann, Paul: A Study in Social and Religious History, 2nd ed., trans. William E. Wilson (New York: Harper Torchbooks, n.d.).

F. W. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul (New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., 1889); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=RB2KeCSM6KsC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 12 FEB 2013].

Bruce N. Fisk, “Paul: Life and Letters”, in The Face of New Testament Studies: A Survey of Recent Research, ed. Scot McKnight and Grant R. Osborne (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), pp. 283-325.

Richard B.Gaffin, Jr., "Acts and Paul", 46 lectures (MP3 format), WTS Resources Media Center on Westminster Theological Seminary at http://wts.edu/resources/media.html?paramType=audio&filterTopic=5&filterSpeaker=10&filterYear=2005 [accessed 20 MAR 2013].

Frank J. Goodwin, A Harmony of the Life of the St. Paul According to the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Epistles (New York: American Tract Society, 1895); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=YgpEAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 12 FEB 2013].

Richard N. Longenecker, The Ministry And Message Of Paul (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971).

Richard N. Longenecker, Paul, Apostle Of Liberty (New York: Harper & Row, 1964).

Richard N. Longenecker, ed., The Road From Damascus : The Impact Of Paul's Conversion On His Life, Thought, And Ministry (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997).

Richard N. Longenecker, Studies In Paul, Exegetical And Theological (Sheffield : Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2004).

J. Gresham Machen, The Origin of Paul's Religion: The James Sprunt Lectures Delivered at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1925).

Leon Morris, The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1955).

John Pollock, The Apostle: A Life of Paul, 3rd ed. (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1969, 2012); also published as The Man Who Shook the World (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1972; originally The Apostle: A Life of Paul, New York: Doubleday, 1969).

Stanley E. Porter, Paul in Acts, in Library of Pauline Studies, gen. ed. Stanley E. Porter (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1999; 2001 reprint of The Paul of Acts: Essays in Literary Criticism, Rhetoric and Theology, in Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 115, by Mohr Siebeck, Tubingen).

W. M. Ramsay, The Cities of St. Paul: Their Influence on his Life and Thought (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Son; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1908); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=JryEbmKool0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

W. M. Ramsay, Pauline and Other Studies in Early Christian History (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Son, 1906); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=-1ZJAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 10th ed. (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1907); on Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/ramsay/paul_roman.html [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

W. M. Ramsay, The Teaching of Paul in terms of The Present Day: The Deems Lectures in New York University (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914); on Internet Archive at http://ia600404.us.archive.org/2/items/teachingofpaulin00rams/teachingofpaulin00rams.pdf [accessed 13 FEB 2013].

A. T. Robertson, Epochs in the Life of Paul: A Study of Development in Paul's Character (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974).

Eckhard J. Schnabel, Paul The Missionary: Realities, Strategies And Methods (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008).

Udo Schnelle, Apostle Paul: His Life and Theology, trans. M. Eugene Boring (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003; trans. from Paulus: Leben und Denken, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co., n.d.).

Thomas R. Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God's Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2001).

James Stalker, The Life of St. Paul, (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1885; rev. ed. 2010 by Kessinger Publishing from 1912 ed.); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=vT0HAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 7 FEB 2013].

James Ironside Still, St. Paul on Trial (London: Student Christian Movement, 1923).



End Notes:

[1] F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951, 1952), pg. 415.

[2] I. Howard Marshall, Acts: An Introduction And Commentary, Vol. 5 in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. Leon Morris (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980; 2008 reprint), pg. 388.

[3] Bruce, op. cit., pg. 416.

[4] Marshall, op. cit., pg. 389.

[5] Robert Ruark, Use Enough Gun: On Hunting Big Game (1966).

[6] “Keith's First Law” (named for gunwriter and Idaho "cowpuncher" Elmer Keith (1899-1984): 
“Never bring a knife to a gunfight.” [Keith's Second Law: “Never bring a pistol to a rifle fight.”]
This has been popularized in modern culture, having often been repeated and paraphrased in movies: Sean Connery as Jimmy Malone in The Untouchables (1987); and often since, e.g., Mark Collie as Harry Heck in The Punisher (2004); and perhaps most memorably by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008): “Nice try kid, but I think you just brought a knife. To a gunfight.”

[7] Marshall, op. cit., pg. 389. For more on this word see Appendix 2: on the word translated “spearmen” in Acts 23:23.

[8] Tacitus, Hist V:9; cited by Bruce, op. cit., pg. 417.

[9] Marshall, op. cit., pg. 390. Marshall comments that Tacitus “could sum up a character in a terse biting phrase.” Ibid.

[10] Tacitus, The Histories, trans. Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, on The Internet Classics Archive at http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/histories.5.v.html [accessed 31 MAR 2015].

[11] Marshall, op. cit., pg. 390.

[12] Bruce, op. cit., pg. 419; Marshall, op. cit., pg. 392.

[13] cited by Polhill, op. cit., pg. 474, note 86, and the NET Bible, op. cit.

[14] Cited by Bruce, op. cit., pg. 416.