Paul Preaching to the Jews in Rome,
Part 1: “The Hope of Israel”
17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. 21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. 22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. 23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. 25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
I. The First Opportunity when Paul invited the leaders of the Jews at Rome (28:17-22)
II. The Second Opportunity for Paul with the Jews at Rome (28:23-24)
III. The Concluding Application by Paul to the Jews at Rome (28:25-29)
I. The First Opportunity when Paul invited the leaders of the Jews at Rome (28:17-22)
1. Paul’s explanation for why he is a prisoner and at Rome (28:17-19)
17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
2. Paul’s explanation for requesting this meeting (28:20)
For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
the Hope of Israel
What is “the Hope of Israel”?
1) The Hope of Israel as Hope
What is the significance of “hope” in this context?
Where has Paul referred to “hope” previously in the sermons in Acts?
What are the contextual clues in these prior usages that shed light on how Paul understands “hope,” and what he intends in his communication to the the Jewish leaders at Rome?
Ps.71:5 - For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
Acts 23:6 - But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Acts 24:15 - 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.
Acts 26:6-7 - 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Jer. 17:7, 13, 17 - 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is….13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters….17 Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.
“Metonymy of the Adjunct….Hope is put for God, (the object on which it is set).”
Pr. 13:12 - Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Is. 20:5 - And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.
Je 14:8 - O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?
Jer. 50:7 - All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.
Rom. 8:16-25 - 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
2) The Hope of Israel as Israel’s Hope
What is the significance of the linkage of “hope” to Israel?
Lk. 2:25-38 - 25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem
Acts 1:6 - When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Acts 3:19-21 - 19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Does Israel have hope?
Has Israel lost hope?
Did Israel ever have genuine hope, or is Israel’s hope misplaced?
Can Christ be the “Hope of Israel,” and yet abandon Israel?
If the “hope of Israel” means something other than “Israel” as understood in the Old Testament, then may not “hope” also be so redefined, and thus mean something other than how it was understood in the Old Testament? If Israel can mean Israel without Israel, then may not hope mean hope without hope?
Is our hope “the Hope of Israel”? Is our hope connected to Israel? Is “the Hope of Israel” our hope? Is “the Hope of Israel” your hope?
Tit. 2:13 - Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
3. The Response of the Jewish Leaders to Pauls’ Explanations (28:21-22)
21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. 22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
[Sermon preached 24 MAY 2015 by Pastor John T. “Jack” Jeffery at Wayside Gospel Chapel, Greentown, PA.]
Appendix 1 — Recommended Resources on the hope of Israel
William E. Blackstone (W.E.B.), Jesus Is Coming (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1932).
James Montgomery Boice, sermons and commentaries on key passages, including “Obadiah,” in Minor Prophets, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006); audio files from “The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Boice,” on Oneplace at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/the-bible-study-hour/listen/ [accessed 27 MAY 2015].
Barry E. Horner, Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged, Vol. 3 in NAC Studies in Bible and Theology, series ed. E. Ray Clendenen (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2007).
John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, gen. eds., Christ's Prophetic Plans: A Futuristic Premillennial Primer (Chicago: Moody Press, 2012).
Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1959).
Moishe Rosen, “Does Israel Have An Earthly Future?,” message delivered at the 1986 Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology at Tenth Presbyterian Church (Philadelphia, PA); published as a paper co-authored with Mitch Glasser and Larry Brandt in a pamphlet along with the other messages from the 1986 PCRT entitled Our Blessed Hope: The Biblical Doctrine of the Last Things (Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, 1986), pp. 30-40; audio at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/alliance-of-confessing-evangelicals/listen/does-israel-have-an-earthly-future-70487.html [accessed 15 MAY 2010].
Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “An Assessment of Replacement Theology: The Relationship Between Israel of the Abrahamic-Davidic Covenant and the Christian Church,” Mishkan 21 (1994), pp. 9-20.
Earl D. Radmacher, What The Church Is All About: A Biblical and Historical Study (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), esp. pp. 281-287.
Robert L. Saucy, The Church in God’s Program (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), esp. pp. 69-82.
Robert L. Saucy, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism: The Interface Between Dispensational & Non-Dispensational Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), pp. 297-323, s.v., Ch. 12, “The Future Purpose of Israel.”
Renald E. Showers, The Coming Apocalypse: A Study of Replacement Theology vs. God’s Faithfulness in the End-Times (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel, Inc., 2009).
Michael J. Vlach, Has the Church Replaced Israel? A Theological Evaluation (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2010).
Appendix 2 — 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).
Richard Belward Rackham, The Acts of the Apostles: An Exposition, Oxford Commentaries, ed. Walter Lock (London: Methuen & Co., 1901), on Google Books at https://books.google.com/books?id=T4f9C9sTl9cC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 25 APR 2015]; and on Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/actsapostlesane01rackgoog [accessed 25 APR 2015]; 8th ed., Westminster Commentaries, ed. Walter Lock (London: Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1919) at https://archive.org/details/actsofapostlesex00rack [accessed 25 APR 2015].
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 3 — 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 Smith, The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul with Dissertations on the Life and Writings of St. Luke, and the Ships and Navigation of the Ancients, 2nd ed. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1856); on Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/voyageandshipwr02smitgoog [accessed 23 APR 2015]; and 4th ed., rev. Walter E. Smith (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1880); on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=IMsNAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 23 APR 2015].
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).
 J. H. Smith, The New Treasury Of Scripture Knowledge (Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson, 1992), pg. 1291.
 Audio files of Barry E. Horner delivering his “Future Israel Seminar” are available on Future Israel Ministries at http://www.futureisraelministries.org/future_israel.html [accessed 27 MAY 2015]. See also Barry E. Horner, Judeo-centric Eschatology, and Horatius Bonar, Judeo-centric Premillennialism, both on Bunyan Ministries at http://www.bunyanministries.org/?page_id=59 [accessed 27 MAY 2015].
 Michael J. Vlach's Resource Library on "Supersessionism" is on Theological Studies at http://theologicalstudies.org/resource-library/supersessionism [accessed 18 JAN 2013]. See also his review article: Michael J. Vlach, "Have They Found a Better Way? An Analysis of Gentry and Wellum's, Kingdom through Covenant", The Master's Seminary Journal 24:1 (Spring 2013), pp. 1-24; on The Master's Seminary at http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/msj24.1.pdf [accessed 24 MAY 2013]. In this article one of the points of criticism that Vlach enters against this book by Wellum and Gentry is their failure to see an eschatological restoration of and future fulfillment of the promises to the nation of Israel as a nation in the land as understood in the Old Testament.