The Book of Acts: Acts 18:22 to 23:30: Paul’s Third Missionary Journey

IV. At Jerusalem, 21:17 to 23:30 (continued)
B. Paul’s Defense before the Mob, 22:1-23
1. How does Paul establish himself as a genuine and loyal Jew? 1-6
a. How does he address his audience? vs. 1
b. In what language does he speak? What effect does this have?
c. How does he introduce himself? Vs. 3
1) Why does he mention that he was brought up I Jerusalem and at the feet of
2) What does he mean when he says that he was “zealous toward God”?
3) What does he mean by the words “as ye all are this day”?
4) What is the significance of the fact that when speaking of himself as being
zealous he uses “was” and when speaking of his audience he uses “are”?
5) Why does he mention his former persecution of the church in this connection?
2. Paul’s conversion-narrative and his calling as an apostle. 6-16
a. Are there any differences between the narrative here and as told by Paul himself
and that in Acts 9 as told by Luke? If so, how do you explain them?
b. How is it to be explained that the Jews did not interrupt Paul as soon as he
mentioned Jesus of Nazareth?
c. What does Paul emphasize in regard to the reputation of Ananias?
d. What is the main point of this narrative as a part of Paul’s dfence before the Jews?
What does Paul want to emphasize?
e. Make plain that in this defense Paul at the same time proclaims the gospel of Christ.
3. The narrative of Paul’s return to Jerusalem and of the vision he received there. 17-21
a. At what visit of Paul to Jerusalem did this incident take place?
b. Is this vision recorded in Acts 9? How is Paul’s leaving Jerusalem explained there?
Is there conflict between the two records?
c. Why, with a view to his defense, does Paul here mention this vision?
d. What took place in this vision?
1) What did the Lord tell Paul, vs. 18?
2).What did Paul reply? What is the meaning of this reply? Does it imply that Paul
felt himself unqualified for his task? Had he at this time perhaps lost courage to
3). Where does the Lord say he will be sent?
e. Is there any significance in the fact that Paul mentions the place and the occasion of
this vision?
4. The reaction of his audience, 22-23
a. Had Paul at all succeeded really to quiet his audience?
b. What was the reason for this violent reaction? What was the word that stirred up all
their fury? Why?
1) Did not the Jews themselves make proselytes among the Gentiles?
2) Why then did they so strenuously object to what Paul said?
C. Paul’s Narrow Escape from Scourging, 22:23-29
1. What did the chief captain do with Paul when the mob again became violent?
Where was this “castle”?
2. What did he give commandment for the soldiers to do with Paul?
a. What was this scourging?
b. What was to accomplished by this scourging?
c. Did the chief captain have no idea as to Paul’s supposed crime?
d. Had he understood what Paul had said in his defense?
3. How did Paul avoid this scourging?
a. How far had the soldiers proceeded to carry out their orders?
b. What was Roman law on this matter of scourging a citizen?
c. How did they know that Paul was a citizen?
d. What is the meaning of the chief captain’s mention of having obtained his
citizenship at a great price?
e. Why was the chief captain afraid?
f. Was is proper for Paul to avoid scourging by this means?
D. Paul’s Appearance before the Jewish Council, 22:30 to 23:10
1. What was the purpose of the chief captain in bringing Paul before the council?
a. Had he been formally accused by the council?
b. What was the authority of this council?
2. How does Paul begin his defense?
a. What does he mean by “I have lived in all good conscience before God until
this day”?
b. How was this line of defense interrupted?
1) Who has high priest at this time? What is known of him?
2) What did he command? Was this proper according to the law? Why not?
3) What was Paul’s retort?
a) Was this retort proper?
b) Should Paul have kept silence and allowed himself to be smitten?
c) What is the meaning of “thou whited wall”?
4) Of what was Paul now accused?
5) What is the meaning of his reply in vs. 5?
a) Is it a genuine statement of ignorance?
b) Is it irony? sarcasm?
3. What line of defense does Paul follow after this?
a. Who were the Pharisees? The Sadducees? What were the fundamental differences
between these two parties?
b. What claim did Paul make for himself? What does he say as to reason why he is
on trial?
1) Was Paul a Pharisee at this time? Could he properly say this?
2) Does he strike the fundamental question when he claims that he is called in question of the hope and resurrection of the dead?
3) Was it possible for him to appeal to the Pharisee-party on this score? What was the difference between Paul and the Pharisees? Was it necessary for Paul to point out this difference? Why does he not do so?
4) Did Paul intentionally arouse dissension in the council between the two parties?
a) Was this effect calculated by him?
b) Was it proper for him to avoid the issue in this way?
c) Or did he not avoid any issue? What does this whole incident reveal as to the moral right of the council to judge Paul in any way?
d) What was the judgment of the Pharisees, vs. 9? Did they probably say more than they wished?
4. What did the chief captain now do? Why?
5. What was the Lord’s purpose with this whole turn of events?

Originally Published in:
Vol. 19 No. 1 February 1959