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Tag Archives: High Priest

A Contrast of Paul’s Conversion Accounts

Luke records Paul’s conversion three times in Acts, first in chapter 9 where he simply narrates the event, and secondly, through Paul’s testimony in chapter 22 before the Jews after they tried to kill him, and finally before Festus and King Agrippa in chapter 26. Each have similarities, but there are also difference in the accounts, and some have tried to make a point that the differences prove either the event never occurred, or that one cannot know for certain what happened. Is this true? The simple answer is, no; there are reasons for the differences in the accounts, just as there are reasons for the similarities. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Why Didn’t Felix Release Paul?

Luke leaves us at the end of Acts 24 with Paul still in bonds. Usually, when a procurator left his office he either executed the prisoners he had taken captive for crimes worthy of death or released others. Yet, Paul’s fate was left for the next Roman governor to decide, while Felix returned to Rome to answer to Caesar for how he handled certain a certain insurrection that developed in Caesarea. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul Before the Sanhedrin

It has been argued that, due to a lack of a plaintiff argument, the Sanhedrin proceedings were informal.[1] However, strictly speaking Claudius Lysias, the Roman tribune who commanded the Roman army in the Antonia and second in authority only to Felix, called the court together. How informal could that have been? Whether the intention was to hear Paul as a kind of grand jury to determine whether or not Paul had committed a crime or whether the court was convened in the manner in which Festus had thought to do in Acts 25:9 is uncertain. Nevertheless, a formal hearing was called, and judging from the cry of innocence by some of the members of the court (Acts 23:9), it functioned as either an authentic trial on Paul’s life or as a kind of grand jury. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Paul and the Man of Sin

The man of sin or man of lawlessness seems to have been a figure in Paul’s day, because the mystery of lawlessness was already at work (2Thessalonians 2:7). If his work was already present in the first century CE, then we must consider the possibility that he also lived at that time and would be revealed to us in the pages of history by means of his labor that would not be according to law. Admittedly, most scholars would not support this possibility, because their interpretation is dependent upon a yet future work against the people of God. However, and we need to consider this possibility, did Paul believe that, and if not, do we consider ourselves more knowledgeable than he about those things he wrote? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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The Death of Agrippa

It is interesting as we come to the end of Acts 12 that Herod should die at the hand of God. Josephus, who never puts Agrippa in a bad light, seems to agree, in that Herod, himself, sees an owl as an omen from God announcing his death [Josephus: Antiquities 19.8.2]. Therefore, although put in different words, Josephus and Luke agree that God killed Herod, because he accepted without rebuke the praise of the people saying he was a god! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Agrippa Abode in Caesarea

According to Josephus, the Jewish historian in the 1st century CE, Herod Agrippa of Acts 12 “loved to live continually at Jerusalem” and each day offered the prescribed sacrifice of Israel’s king [Josephus: Antiquities 19.7.3]. If this is true, then his leaving for Caesarea should be taken as an indication of his embarrassment over Peter’s escape (cp. Acts 12:19). Certainly, it should be understood that Agrippa would leave Jerusalem from time to time to conduct civil business that needed personal attention that was impossible to accommodate from Jerusalem, but Josephus says his normal abode was in Jerusalem. Yet, Luke claims that Agrippa left Jerusalem and abode in Caesarea (Acts 12:19). Josephus says this occurred when Agrippa was three years into his reign over Jerusalem [Antiquities 19.8.2]. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Paul’s Flight out of Jerusalem

Simply put, the fact that among the believing community only Paul had to flee from Jerusalem goes on to emphasize that he was, indeed, preaching something different from what the Apostles preached in Jesus’ name. But why did he have to flee to Caesarea and then to Tarsus (Acts 9:30)? Why couldn’t he simply flee to Galilee or Perea, just as Jesus did when he got into trouble with the Jerusalem authorities? If he did so, he may have been able to stay more in touch with the Apostles and eventually return to Jerusalem when the climate was more accommodating. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Saul and the Persecution

If Luke was not among those believers who were persecuted and had to leave Jerusalem, he could not have witnessed Stephen’s death. However, it would not be inconsistent with his explanation in Luke 1:1-4 that he could have researched his material concerning the events surrounding Stephen’s death and the persecution that followed. These things may very well have been supplied by Philip, who had ultimately settled in Caesarea after fleeing Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Great Persecution

I think we often read past Acts 8:1-4 just to get to Philip’s ministry to Samaria and the Ethiopian eunuch. Nevertheless, these four verses tell us a great deal, and are pretty much continued at Acts 11:19. It seems Luke placed Philip’s ministry to Samaria and the Ethiopian plus Saul’s conversion plus Peter’s going to the Roman centurion and his household right in the middle of this persecution, or to but it another way: between Acts 8:4 and Acts 11:19. It serves as a kind of parenthesis within the persecution and its information helps us to forget what is really taking place. Believers are dying for their faith. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Tenth Temptation of God

Whether or not Stephen was concluding his address to the Sanhedrin is not specifically stated in the text. However, it seems by the time he stated that the Most High doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, quoting Isaiah the prophet, Stephen seems to react to something the crowd said or did, because in Acts 7:51 he complains his audience is reacting just as their fathers had in the past. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Prophet Like Moses and Worship

Remember that Stephen was accused of blasphemy against Moses (or the Law) and against the Temple (Acts 6:13-14). In the last four blogs I’ve shown how Stephen addressed the first accusation. By and large the fathers had rejected both Moses and Joseph and had no faith in God as their father, Abraham had. Their eyes were always upon the past, traditions, where they had been (e.g. in Egypt etc.) and had no vision for the future (promises to be fulfilled). The five books of Moses are what make up the Law (Torah), so blasphemy against either (Moses/Torah) is blasphemy against the other. Not only did Stephen show a reverence toward Moses, but implied the Prophet who was like him (Acts 7:37) fulfilled Moses’ experiences to the letter, i.e. he fulfilled the Law and was rejected and crucified in doing so. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Stephen Conspiracy

Why would a nice guy like Stephen get arrested and then executed, either by rule of the Sanhedrin or mob violence? Acts 6:8 tells us he was a miracle-worker, and the people seemed to love the believers among them who healed their ailments (Acts 5:12a, 15-16, 26), but something seems to have occurred here that kept Stephen from being protected by the power of the people. What was it? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Gospel Cannot be Bound!

We discover in Acts 5:17 that the high priest and the Sadducees rose up against the Apostles (v.18). The officiating high priest at this time was Caiaphas, but Luke tells us in Acts 4:6 that he means Annas, because he calls him high priest, while placing Caiaphas as one of his family who was with him. In his Gospel Luke also names Annas as high priest together with the officiating Caiaphas (Luke 3:2). What this means is that, simply because Rome removed one man as the high priest and named another in his stead, did not remove that man from the office of high priest according to God. According to Scripture, the high priest was anointed for life. Aaron was Israel’s first high priest, and though his sons also officiated in that office (Numbers 3:3-4), he retained his office for life and was head over them (Numbers 33:38). Therefore, Annas retained all his power as high priest in the eyes of the Jews. His official title was Captain of the Temple (Acts 4:1).[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Blunder of the Powerful

Few of us have ever been confronted by the world and threatened in such a manner as was done to the Apostles, Peter and John, in Acts 4. Luke places a special responsibility of blame upon the Sadducees, and the Annas family in particular, for the rejection of the Gospel message and for the persecution of the church later. In chapter 4 Luke highlights the position of the Sadducees by comparing this sect with the ordinary Jews. Later, in the next chapter he does the same when he contrasts the positions of the two ruling parties of Judaism—the Sadducees and the Pharisees (who had their own reasons for not embracing the new Jewish movement among them). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles

 

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Image of the Beast & the 7 Sons of Sceva ~ Part 3

In the final post of this series I am considering the seven sons of Sceva, the high priest, and the seven ‘sons’ of Annas, the high priest of Jerusalem in the 1st century CE. In part one I compared the Image of the Beast, seen in Revelation 13:14, with these sons of Sceva mentioned in Acts 19:14, and placed them over against the Lamb with Seven Horns and Seven Eyes (the seven spirits or men, i.e. writers of the New Testament, who spread the Gospel throughout the world), mentioned in Revelation 5:6. My point in all this is to show a competition between the Kingdom of God and the rulers of the Jews who rejected Jesus. The ruling priests had declared war against the priesthood of Jesus, represented in the spirits gone out into the entire world (cp. Revelation 5:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in spiritual warfare

 

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