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Jerusalem- The Speech At The Antonia Fortress

August 29, 2014

 

A few days after Paul arrived in Jerusalem, the prophecy of Agabus began to be fulfilled.

In the temple Paul was accused by the Jews of blaspheming against the people, against the Torah and against the temple (cf. Acts 21:28)

Stephen had been stoned on similar accusations and Saul had then approved of his killing...(cf.Acts 8:1, 22:20).

It was now Paul's turn to defend himself before his accusers.

Paul's speech in the Antonia Fortress, which includes an account of his Damascus experience, provoked further hostility against him when the declared to the Jews that he had been sent to preach to the pagans.

Paul travelled from caesarea to Jerusalem, where he was recognised and dragged out of the temple to be killed.

My brothers, my fathers, listen to what I have to say to you in my defence(Acts 22:1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once, after I had got back to Jerusalem, when I was praying in the Temple, I fell into a trance, and then i saw him.

"Hurry, "he said, "Leave Jerusalem at once, they will not accept the testimony you are giving about me.{...}

Go. I am sending you out to the pagans far away."(Acts 22:17-18.21)

 

...........................Jerusalem- Paul's Defence Before The Sanhedrin........................

 

The tension in Jerusalem grew so much that the tribune in charge of the Roman guard was forced to take Paul to the Antonia Fortress.

Since the reason for the revolt of the Jews against Paul was purely religious, the tribune thought it best to entrust the case to the tribunal of the Sanhedrin(cf.Acts 23:29)

Paul address only increased the confusion, when he spoke of his "hope in the resurrection of the dead" before an audience that was divided over the question.

The notion of resurrection was scandalous to both the Jews and pagans.

What Paul was ultimately called to do was becoming more and more clear withnes in Rome.

Paul was saved from the angry mob by the roman tribune, who arrested and took him to the Antonia fortress.

There Paul asked to be allowed to defend himself before his Jewish brothers and fathers.

Now Paul was well aware that one section was made up of sadducees and the other of pharisees, so he called out in the sanhedrin, "Brothers, I am a pharisee and the son

of pharisees. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial".

As soon as he said this a dispute broke out between the pharisees and sadducees, and assembly was split between the two parties.(Acts 23:6-7)

"courage! you have borne witness for me in Jerusalem now you must do the same in Rome".(Acts 23:11)

 

.....................Caesarea Paul's Imprisonment...................

 

Paul was transferred to Caesarea to appear before the Roman Governor Felix.

The prosecution on behalf of the Jews was led by the advocate Tertullus, was accused Paul of being " a perfect pest"(Act 24:5)

The accusation was the following: "He stirs up trouble among the Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.

He has even at tempted to profane the Temple.

We placed him under arrest"(Acts 24:5-6).

Paul denied the accusations and confirmed his  Jewish faith: his worship of the God of the fathers, his obedience to all that conformed to the Torah and to the teachings of the just and the unjust (cf.Acts 24:15).

Paul's declartions very clearly show the full compatibility of faith in Jesus  as Messiah with Jewish- Pharisaic tradition.

Informed of a plot to murder Paul, who was a Roman citizen  by birth, the tribune gave orders to transfer Paul safely to Caesarea.

There Paul remained in prison for two years.

Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, "Get two hundred soldiers ready to leave foe Caesarea by the third hour of the night with seventy cavalry

and two hundred auxiliaries, provide horses for Paul, and deliver him unharmed to felix the governor".(Acts 23:23-24)

The Governor said: "I will hear your case as soon as your accusers are here too."

Then he ordered him to be held in Herod's praetorium(Acts 23:35)

 

Tags: Jerusalem, Bethlehem

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