Keith Hunt - Jesus and Paul - Pharisees? #2 - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

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Jesus and Paul - Pharisees? #2

Some say they were!


                            by

                         Keith Hunt



We continue here with the expounding of the pertinent passages in
Acts and some of Paul, that certain sects of the Messianic Jewish
movement and William Dankenbring use to try and prove Jesus
and/or Paul were Pharisees, and hence we should observe the
teachings and practices of the Pharisee theology. First the
section of Acts 22:3 and then Acts 23: 6,7,8.

GILES EXPOSITOR

It follows, and taught according to the perfect law of the
fathers; not the law which the Jewish fathers received from
Moses, though Paul was instructed in this, but in the oral law,
the Misna, or traditions of the elders, in which he greatly
profited, and exceeded others, Gal.i.14. And was zealous towards
God; or a zealot of God; one of those who were called Kanaim, or
zealots; who in their great zeal for the glory of God, took away
the lives of men, when they found them guilty of what they judged
a capital crime; see Matt.x.4. John xvi.  The Vulgate Latin
version reads, "zealous of the law;" both written and oral, the
law of Moses, and the traditions of the fathers: as ye all are
this day: having a zeal for God, and the law, but not according
to knowledge.

BARNES' NOTES ON THE NEW TESTAMENT

...acquainted with the nature of the law.  According to the
perfect manner..... By strict diligence, or exact care; or in
the utmost rigour and severity of that instruction. No pains were
SPARED to make him understand and practise the law of Moses. The
law of the fathers. The law of our fathers; i.e., the law which
they received and handed down to us. Paul was a Pharisee; and the
law in which he had been taught was not only the written law of
Moses, but the traditional law which had been handed down from
former times. Note, Matt. iii. 6. And was zealous towards God.
Gal.1:14. He had a constant burning seal for God and his law,
which was expressed not only by scrupulous adherence to its
forma, but by persecuting all who opposed it,verse, 4.5.    

ADAM CLARKE

According to the perfect manner. That is, according to that
strict interpretation of the law, and especially the traditions
of the elders, for which the Pharisees were remarkable. That it
is Pharisaism that the apostle has in view, when he says he was
taught according to, ..... the most exact manner, is evident; and
hence, in chap. xxvi.5, he calls Pharisaism ..... the most exact
system; and, under it, he was zealous towards God; scrupulously
exact in every part of his duty, accompanying this with reverence
to the supreme Being, and deep concern for his honour and glory.
  
R.C.H.LENSKY COMMENTARY

Acts 22:2, 3   

3) I - I am a man, a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but reared in
this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the
paternal law's exactitude, being a zealot for God even as you
your selves all are today; one who did persecute this Way to
death, binding and delivering into prisons, both men and women as
also the high priest is witness for me and all the eldership,
from whom also having received letters to the brethren I was
journeying to Damascus to bring also those who were there bound
to Jerusalem in order that they might be punished.

.... is emphatic: "I, as far as I am concerned"; and .... (not
the pleonastic ..... which is often used by Luke as in 16:37, and
in 21:39) makes the appositive substantive adjectival as in
10:28; 3:14; Luke 24:17 (B.-D. 242). The three perfect
participles refer to states; once born, reared, educated a man
remains thus. On Tarsus of Cilicia as Paul's birthplace see 9:11
and 21:39. His place of birth made him a Hellenist, but his
rearing and his education, both of which took place in Jerusalem,
were those of a Hebrew; on the difference see 6:1. Although born
abroad, Paul was reared "in this city," i. e., Jerusalem (26:4).
Only the fact is mentioned. At what age he was brought to
Jerusalem (the guesses vary between eight and fourteen), and with
whom he lived (a much older sister, 23:16?), are left to surmise.
We ought not confuse the second and the third partlciplee; the
one means "nourished up" and thus "reared" while the other means
"to train a child" and thus "to educate." "At the feet of
Gamaliel" is thus to be construed with the latter participle, for
it also precedes it for the sake of emphasis: by no less a person
than Gamaliel was Paul educated. This famous teacher scarcely
trained little boys; Paul means that, when he was of proper age,
he became a disciple of Gamaliel. See the remarks on 5:34. We see
how old the expression "at the feet" is. The disciples, of
course, sat cross-legged on the floor, their 'rabban' (a title
given only to Gamaliel and to six others; 'rabbi' is less, and
'rab' still less) sitting the same way on a platform. The Talmud
explains: "They are to dust themselves with the dust of his
feet."
Paul's having Gamaliel as a teacher already explains the kind of
an education he received, but he adds this fact because it is so
important for his present hearers: "according to the paternal
law's exactitude," ..... "received from one's father." Paul's
Jewish education was limited to the things handed down from the
Jewish fathers, and he received it in a form that was most exact
and accurate. The genitive alone is enough to make its governing
noun definite. No devout Jew in all Israel could have provided a
more satisfactory Jewish upbringing and education for his son
than that which Paul's father provided for him. Where Paul
obtained his knowledge of Greek poetry is another question.
The present participle adds what Paul thus turned out to be:
......    "a zealot for God" (objective genitive), compare 21:20;
and dramatically Paul adds: "even as you yourselves all are
today," referring to what they had just done to him when they
imagined that he had desecrated God's Temple. Paul refers to the
same thing mentioned in Rom.10:2. He is speaking subjectively and
now describes the zealot he was.


NOW FOR ACTS 23:6 AND WITH WHAT YOU'LL GET FROM THE FOLLOWING
COMMENTARIES BE READY FOR A FEW SURPRISES.



THE INTERPRETERS BIBLE

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.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the
Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither
angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

6. A Pharisee, a son of Pharisees: Cf. 26:5 and Phil. 3:5. As a
Christian, Paul can still claim to be a Pharisee (cf. 15:5 for
"believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees") and a
champion of the best traditions of Judaism - the best defense he
can make against the charge of subversive preaching (21:28). The
hope and the resurrection: This might be taken to refer to the
messianic hope and the resurrection which, according to the
Pharisees, was its condition. But the words in the Greek have no
definite article and are perhaps best taken as a single
expression equivalent to "the hope of the resurrection."
Similarly in 24:15 Paul speaks of "having a hope ... that there
will be a resurrection" (cf. also 26:6-8); and in 24:21 it is
simply "with respect to the resurrection" that Paul is on trial.

7. The assembly was divided: Josephus tells how once he escaped
from a mob by the same ruse of dividing "their opinions" (Life
139-44).

8. For the divergent views of the Pharisees and Sadducees on
eschatology see Mark 12:18 and parallels and Josephus, who says
that the Pharisees maintain that "every soul is imperishable, but
the soul of the good alone passes into another body, while the
souls of the wicked suffer eternal punishment." .....

ELLICOT COMMENTARY

I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. It is natural, from one
point of view, to dwell chiefly on the tact of the Apostle. He
seems to be acting, consciously or unconsciously, on the
principle divide et impera, to win over to his side a party who
would otherwise have been his enemies. With this there comes, it
may be, a half-doubt whether the policy thus adopted was
altogether truthful. Was St. Paul at that time really a Pharisee?
Was he not, as following in his Master's footsteps, the sworn foe
of Pharisaism? The answer to that question, which obviously ought
to be answered and not suppressed, is that all parties have their
good and bad sides, and that those whom the rank and file of a
party most revile may be the most effective witnesses for the
truths on which the existence of the party rests. The true
leaders of the Pharisees had given a prominence to the doctrine
of the Resurrection which it had never had before. They taught an
.... rather than a sacrificial religion. Many of then had been,
like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea, secret disciples of our
Lord. At this very time there were many avowed Pharisees among
the members of the Christian Church (chap. xv. 5). St.Paul,
therefore, could not be charged with any suppressio veri in
calling himself a Pharisee. It did not involve even a tacit
disclaimer of his faith in Christ. It was rather as though he
said, "I am one with you in all that is truest in your creed.    
I invite you to listen and see whether what I now proclaim to you
is not the crown and completion of all your hopes and yearnings.
Is not the resurrection of Jesus the one thing needed for a proof
of that hope of the resurrection of the dead of which you and
your fathers have been witnesses?"
There arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
As a strategic act St. Paul's words had immediately the effect
which he desired. They prevented the hasty unanimous vote which
might otherwise have united the two parties, as they bad been
united in the case of Stephen, in the condemnation of the
blasphemer. What follows shows that it was not without results as
regards the higher aim. (8) The Sadducees say that there is no
resurrection. On the general teaching of the Sadducees, see Note
on Matt.xxii.23. Their denial of the existence of angels and
spirits seems at first inconsistent with the known fact that
they acknowledged, the divine authority of the Pentateuch, which
contains so many narratives of angelophanica, and were more
severe than others in their administration of the Law.....

BARNES' NOTES ON THE NEW TESTAMENT

That is, I was of thaT sect among the Jews. I was born a
Pharisee, and I ever continued while a Jew to be of that sect.   
In the main he agreed with them still. He did not mean to deny
that he was a Christian, but that so far as the Pharisees
differed from the Sadducees, he was in the main with the former.
He agreed with them, not with the Sadducees, in regard to the
doctrine of the resurrection, and the existence of angels and
spirits. The son of a Pharisee. What was the name of his father
is not known. But the meaning is, simply, that he was entitled to
all the immunities and privileges of a Pharisee. He had from his
birth, belonged to that sect, nor had he ever departed from the
great cardinal doctrines which distinguished that sect - the
doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Comp. Phil. 3:6. Of the
hope of the resurrection of the dead. That is, of the hope that
the dead will be raised. This is the real point of the
persecution and opposition to me. I am called as question. Gr., 
I am judged; that is, I am persecuted, or brought to trial.
Orobio charges this upon Paul as an artful manner of declining
persecution, unworthy the character of an upright and honest man.
Chubb, a British Deist of the seventeenth century, charges it
upon Paul as an act of gross " dissimulation, as designed to
conceal the true ground of all the troubles that he had brought
upon himself; and as designed to deceive and impose upon the
Jews."    
He affirms also, that " St. Paul probably invented this pretended
charge a himself, to draw over a party of the unbelieving Jews
unto him." See Chubb's Posthumous Works, vol. ii. p. 238. Now, in
reply to this we may observe (l.) that there is not the least
evidence that Paul denied that he had been, or was then, a
Christian. An attempt to deny this, after all that they knew of
him, would have been vain, and there is not the slightest hint
that he attempted it. (2.) The doctrine of the resurrection of
the dead was the main and leading doctrine which he had insisted
on, and which had been to him the cause of much of his
persecution. See chap. xvii. 31,34; 1 Cor.xv.; Acts xiii.34;
xxvi. 6, 7, 48, 46. (3.) Paul defended this
by an argument which he deemed invincible, and which constituted,
in fact, the principal evidence of its truth - the fact that the
Lord Jesus had been raised. That fact had given demonstration to
the doctrine of the Pharisees, that the dead would rise. As Paul
had everywhere proclaimed the fact that Jesus had been raised up,
and as this had been the occasion of his being opposed, it was
true that he had been persecuted on account of that doctrine.    
(4) The real ground of the opposition which the Saddueees made to
him, and of their opposition to his doctrine, was the additional
zeal with which he urged this doctrine, and the additional
argument which he brought for the resurrection of the dead. 
Perhaps the cause of the opposition of this great party among the
Jews - the Sadducees - to Christianity, was the strong
confirmation which the resurrection of Christ gave to the
doctrine which they so much hated - the doctrine of the
resurrection of the dead. It thus gave a triumph to their
opponents among the Pharisees; and Paul, as a leading and zealous
advocate of that doctrine, would excite their special hatred.    
(5.) All that Paul said, therefore, was strictly true. It was
because he advocated this doctrine that he was opposed. That
there were other causes of opposition to him might be true also;
but still this was the main and prominent cause of the
hostility.(6) With great propriety, therefor, he might address
the Pharisees, and say, "brethren, the great doctrine which has
distinguished you from the Sadducees is at stake. The great
doctrine which is at the foundation of all our hopes - the
resurrection of the dead - the doctrine of our fathers, of the
Scriptures, of our sect, is in danger. Of that doctrine I have
been the advocate. I have never denied it. I have endeavoured to
establish it, and have everywhere defended it, and; have devoted
myself to the work of putting it on an imperishable basis among
the Jews and the Gentiles. For my seal in that I have been
opposed. I have excited the ridicule of the Gentile, and the
hatred of the Sadducee. I have thus been persecuted and
arraigned; and for my seal in this, in urging the argument in
defence of it, which I have deemed most irrefragable - the
resurrection of the Messiah - I have been persecuted and
arraigned, and now cast myself on your protection against the mad
seal the enemies of the doctrine of our fathers." Not only,
therefore, was this an act of policy and prudence in Paul, but
what he affirmed was strictly true, and the effect was as he had
anticipated.

THE INTERPRETATION OF THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

Since Paul had always known that the Sanhedrin was made up of
both Sadducees and Pharisees, Luke's remark that is introduced
with ... must mean more than that Paul happened to think of these
two parties and with quick wit took advantage of that fact and
thus caused a division in the Sanhedrin. Something that is not
recorded by Luke but is contained in the participle ... etc., had
set the two parties against each other. This seems to be
substantiated by .... ... .. ..... Paul had to shout (descriptive
imperfect) at the top of his voice. The Sadducees and the
Pharisees were evidently engaged in a loud altercation, and Paul
was quite forgotten for the moment.

These points are clear; everything that goes beyond them is
guessing, some of it is unsatisfactory, for instance that the
altercation took place in regard to the high priest, and that the
Pharisees were rather pleased with Paul's sharp retort, or that
Paul's address, "men and brethren," was intended to ignore the
high priest in a pointed way. Regarding the latter, what about
the same address in v.1; and what about attributing such a low
motive to a man like Paul? Luke writes, "in the Sanhedrin," yet
some think that Paul was addressing only the Pharisees. The
entire Sanhedrin was to know that Paul was a Pharisee. The force
of the argument was this: a judicial body that was itself in
large part composed of Pharisees could certainly not find fault
with a man for being a Pharisee and holding to the main doctrinal
contention of Pharisaism. This feature of the argument would, of
course, have been just as strong if matters had been reversed, 
i.e., if Paul had been a Sadducee. In either case the one party
would not, the other could not take exception.

"I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees," descended from Pharisee
ancestry, intends to say, "a genuine Pharisee." In this very
Sanhedrin Gamaliel had sat, a Pharisee, one of the great
ornaments of Judaism (5:34), under whom Paul himself had received
his education (22:3). If Paul had stopped with this, the casuists
might arise and charge him with falsehood or at least with
equivocation. But he at once adds in what respect he is a genuine
Pharisee, namely for holding to the "hope and resurrection of men
dead,"  'Totenauferstehung.'  There are no articles in the Greek,
hence both terms are used in their broad sense. We may regard the
expression as a hendiadys : "hope of resurrection." The fact that
this hope involved belief in angels and in spirits, and that
Paul, of course, included both in his present confession, we see
in a moment. All that we must add here is that any man who has a
conviction such as this, especially if he be a Jew, is properly
classed with the Pharisees, the outstanding exponents of this
conviction. To this day we call those who reject the resurrection
"modern Sadducees" although in other respects they may differ
entirely from the ancient Sadducees. It is true, today "Pharisee"
has come to designate another mark of this ancient sect; it now
signifies a formalist or a hypocrite; but this is a late
development in the use of the word. There in the Sanhedrin every
man understood Paul's declaration exactly as he intended it: he
was in no sense a Sadducee, he was a Pharisee who held to the
hope of the resurrection which was defended by all Pharisees
against all Sadducees. We are such Pharisees to this day.   

More must be added. This hope of the resurrection was the ancient
faith of Israel. The claim of the modern Sadducees that the Old
Testament was not acquainted with this faith is refuted by
Abraham who believed that God could raise his son Isaac from the
dead (Heb. 11:9). The Old Testament is rich in similar proof. The
Pharisees were genuinely Biblical in regard to this doctrine, and
this Jewish sect dates back to the days of the return from the
Babylonian exile. Furthermore, the resurrection was the central
doctrine of the apostolic gospel (2:32; 3:15; 4:10; 5:28; 13:30,
34; I Cor. 15:4-20). It was so essential because of the
resurrection of Jesus as the Christ. Jesus proclaimed his own
resurrection (John 2:18-22; Matt. 8:31; 9:31; 10:34), promised to
raise up all the dead (John 5:25), especially his believers (John
6:39,40,44,54), rose as promised, and gave his chosen witnesses
"many infallible proofs" thereof (Acts 1:3). The folly of the
Sadducees in denying the resurrection is exposed in Matt.22:23,
etc. Gamaliel himself threw cold water on the Sanhedrin's
readiness to slay the apostles for preaching the resurrection of
Jesus (Acts 5:33, etc.). The Christian teaching of the
resurrection drew many Pharisees to the faith; we note some of
them in 15:5.

Before a body that was composed in part of so many Pharisees Paul
says, "I am called in question," I, ON the matter of the
resurrection, the one great thing which makes me, too, a
Pharisee. That was certainly preposterous. We may translate
...."I am being judged," .....

MATTHEW HENRY'S COMMENTARY

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. (7) And when he
had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and
the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. (8) For the
Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor
spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. (9) And there arose a
great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part
arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a
spirit or an angel bath spoken to him, let us not
fight against God. (10) And when there arose a great dissension,
the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in
pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take
him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
(11) And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be
of good cheer, Paul: for as thou bast testified of me in
Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Many are the troubles of the righteous, but some way or other the
Lord delivereth them out of them all. Paul owned he had
experienced the truth of this in the persecutions be had
undergone among the Gentiles (see 2 Tim. iii. 11): Out of them
all the Lord delivered me. And now he finds that he who has
delivered does and will deliver. He that delivered him in the
foregoing chapter from the tumult of the people here delivers him
from that of the elders.

His own prudence and ingenuity stand him in some stead, and
contribute much to his escape. Paul's greatest honour, and that
upon which he most valued himself, was that he was a Christian,
and an apostle of Christ; and all his other honours he despised
and made nothing of, in comparison with this, counting them but
dung, that he might win Christ, and yet he had sometimes occasion
to make use of his other honours, and they did him service. His
being a citizen of Rome saved him in the foregoing chapter from
his being scourged by the chief captain as a vagabond, and here
his being a Pharisee saved him from being condemned by the
Sanhedrim, as an apostate from the faith and worship of the God
of Israel. It will consist very well with our willingness to
suffer for Christ to use all lawful methods, nay, and arts too,
both to prevent suffering and to extricate ourselves out of it.  
The honest policy Paul used here for his own preservation was to
divide his judges, and to set them at variance one with another
about him; and, by incensing one part of them more against him,
to engage the contrary part for him.

The great council was made up of Sadducees and Pharisees, and
Paul perceived it. He knew the characters of many of them ever
since he lived among them, and saw those among them whom he knew
to be Sadducees, and others whom he knew to be Pharisees (v.6):
One part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, and perhaps
nearly an equal part. Now these differed very much from one
another, and yet they ordinarily agreed well enough to do the
business of the council together. (1.) The Pharisees were bigots,
zealous for the ceremonies, not only those which God had
appointed, but those which were enjoined by the tradition of the
elders. They were great sticklers for the authority of the
church, and for enforcing obedience to its injunctions, which
occasioned many quarrels between them and our Lord Jesus; but at
the same time they were very orthodox in the faith of the Jewish
church concerning the world of spirits, the resurrection of the
dead, and the life of the world to come. (2.) The Sadducees were
deists - no friends to the scripture, or divine revelation. The
books of Moses they admitted as containing a good history and a
good law, but had little regard to the other books of the Old
Testament; see Matt. xxii. 23. The account here given of these
Sadduceee is, [l.] That they deny the resurrection; not only the
return of the body to life, but a future state of rewards and
punishments. They had neither hope of eternal happiness nor dread
of eternal misery, nor expectation of any thing on the other side
death; and it was upon these principles that they said, It is in
vain to serve God, and called the proud happy, Mal. iii.14,15.
[2] That they denied the existence of angels and spirits, and
allowed of no being but matter.....When they read of angels in
the Old Testament, they supposed them to be messengers that God
made and sent on his errands as there was occasion, or that they
were impressions on the fancies of those they were sent to, and
no real existences - that they were this, or that, or any thing
rather than what they were. And, as for the souls of men, they
looked upon them to be nothing else but the temperament of the
humours of the body, or the animal spirits, but denied their
existence in a state of separation from the body, and any
difference between the soul of a man and of a beast. These, no
doubt, pretended to be free-thinkers, but really thought as
meanly, absurdly, and slavishly, as possible. It is strange how
men of such corrupt and wicked principles could come into office,
and have a place in the great Sanhedrim; but many of them were of
quality and estate, and they complied with the public
establishment, and so got in and kept in. But they were generally
stigmatized as heretics, were ranked with the Epicureans, and
were prayed against and excluded from eternal life. The prayer
which the modern Jews use against Christians, Witsius thinks, was
designed by Gamaliel, who made it, against the Sadducees; and
that they meant them in their usual imprecation, 'let the name of
the wicked rot.' But how degenerate was the character and how
miserable the state of the Jewish church, when such profane men
as these were among their rulers !

In this matter of difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees
Paul openly declared himself to be on the Pharisees side against
the Sadducees (v.6): He cried out, so as to be heard by all, "I
am a Pharisee, was bred a Pharisee, nay, I was born one, in
effect, for I was the son of a Pharisee, my father was one before
me, and thus far I am still a Pharisee in that I hope for the
resurrection of the dead, and I may truly say that, if the matter
were rightly understood, it would be found that this is it for
which I am now called in question." When Christ was upon earth
the Pharisees set themselves most against him, because he
witnessed against their traditions and corrupt glosses upon the
law; but, after his ascension, the Sadducees set themselves most
against his apostles, because they preached through Jesus the
resurrection of the dead, ch.iv.1,2. And it is said (ch.v.17)
that they were the sect of the Sadducees that were filled with
indignation at them, because they preached that life and
immortality which is brought to light by the gospel. Now here,
(1.) Paul owns himself a Pharisee, so far as the Pharisees were
in the right. Though as Pharisaism was opposed to Christianity he
set himself against it, and against all its traditions that were
set up in competition with the law of God or in contradiction to
the gospel of Christ, yet, it was opposed to Sadducism, he
adhered to it. We must never think the worse of any truth of God,
nor be more shy of owning it, for its being held by men otherwise
corrupt. If the Pharisees will hope for the resurrection of the
dead, Paul will go along with them in that hope, and be one of
them, whether they will or no. (2.) He might truly say that being
persecuted, as a Christian, this was the thing he was called in
question for. Perhaps he knew that the Sadducees, though they had
not such an interest in the common people as the Pharisees had,
yet had underhand incensed the mob against him, under pretence of
his having preached to the Gentiles, but really because he had
preached the hope of the resurrection. However, being called in
question for his being a Christian, he might truly say he was
called in question for the hope of the resurrection of the dead,
as he afterwards pleaded, ch. xxiv.15, and ch. xxvi.6,7. Though
Paul preached against the traditions of the elders (as his Master
had done), and therein opposed the Pharisees, yet he valued
himself more upon his preaching the resurrection of the dead, and
a future state, in which he concurred with the Pharisees.
(3.) This occasioned a division in the council. It is probable
that the high priest sided with the Sadducees (as he had done ch.
v.17, and made it to appear by his rage at Paul, v.2), which
alarmed the Pharisees so much the more; but so it was, there
arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees (v.
7), for this word of Paul's made the Sadducees more warm and the
Pharisees more cool in the prosecution of him; in that the
multitude was divided; there was a schism, a quarrel among them,
and the edge of their zeal began to turn from Paul against one
another; nor could they go on to act against him when they could
not agree among themselves, or prosecute him for breaking the
unity of the church when there was so little among them of the
unity of the spirit. All the cry bad been against Paul, but now
there arose a great cry against one another, v.9. So much did a
fierce furious, spirit prevail among all orders of the Jews at
this time that every thing was done with clamour and noise; and
in such a tumultuous manner were the great principles of their
religion stickled for, by which they received little service, for
the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Gainsayers
may be convinced by fair reasoning, but never by great cry.
(4.) The Pharisees hereupon (would one think it?) took Paul's
part
(v.9): They strove....They fought, saying, We find no evil in
this man. He had conducted himself decently and reverently in the
temple, and had attended the service of the church.....

                               .............

TO BE CONTINUED

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