Study Guide

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 23

Chapter 23

The Trial Before The Council

  • Paul tells the Jewish council that he's always lived a good life and that's he's totally right with God.
  • The high priest, Ananias, orders some of the others to punch Paul in the mouth. And they do it. What a bunch of followers.
  • Paul gets angry and calls the high priest a "whitewashed wall." Burn! He also points out that it's against Jewish law to hit him. Check and mate.
  • But the council tells Paul that he has no right to insult the high priest and then Paul does a 180, agrees with them, and apologizes.
  • Hmmm. That apology might be a first for Paul.
  • Paul tells them that he himself is a Pharisee and that he's there because of the things he's been teaching about Jesus and the resurrection of the dead. That's sort of right.
  • A fight breaks out between the Pharisees and Sadducees who both have different views about the resurrection of the dead. No one can agree on anything apparently in this story. Go figure.
  • The Pharisees take Paul's side for a bit (good work, Paul), but things start to get out of control and the Romans remove Paul from the room and take him back to prison. Darn. Just when he was making some headway

Paul Is Saved

  • That night, Paul hears God tell him that things are gonna be fine. Paul's going on a trip to Rome soon to talk up Jesus. A free trip to Rome? Score!
  • Meanwhile, about forty of the Jews on the council agree that they're gonna kill Paul (and they won't eat or drink until they achieve their goal). They arrange to have him brought back to the council so they can unleash their secret plan to attack and murder him. It's getting really sinister up in here.
  • Somehow, Paul's nephew hears all about this and manages to find the Roman tribune in charge of Paul's case, Claudius Lysias, and warn him about the plot against Paul's life.
  • Claudius Lysias has his soldiers take Paul to Caesarea to appear in front of the governor there (named Felix). He also sends a nice long letter explaining the whole crazy situation. How polite.
  • The governor meets with Paul and tells him that he'll arrange a hearing when the Jews from Jerusalem arrive to accuse him of something. Let's not hold our breath.

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