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Acts 22 v 22 - 23 v 10

We can see highlighted in this passage the worldly wise wisdom of Paul and his political nous. First, he waits until he has been bound with thongs before he announces that he is a Roman citizen and secondly, he pronounces on various matters before the Sanhedrin to cause the maximum amount of division. Firstly, he begins his discourse by calling all seventy one members of the Sanhedrin, his 'brothers'; secondly he calls out the High Priest for breaking one of the Rabbinic laws he is so adamant should be adhered to: ''Whoever strikes the cheek of an Israelite strikes, as it were, the glory of God.'' Thirdly, he pretends to apologise to Ananias, the High Priest, who was notoriously a glutton, a thief and a collaborator with the Romans: in other words, he is saying: ''How could such a man become High Priest?!'' Fourthly, Paul divides the assembled Pharisees and Sadducees by announcing that he had been put on trial because he believed in the resurrection of the dead. He knew full well that the Pharisees believed in the dead being raised, as well as angels and spirits; the Sadducees did not. Paul seemed to have no awareness of danger as the following fracas caused him personal injury and the threat of death again and it was only-once again-the Roman Commander who preserved his life by taking him into the barracks!

We can see in this passage that there is a certain audacious recklessness about Paul's conduct now. There is no eloquent support of the Gospel and of Jesus Christ, only rabble-rousing and enjoying the after effects. It appears that at times Paul's old character came to the fore!


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