PAUL’S TRIAL BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN
WHO WERE THE SANHEDRINS?
The Sanhedrins were the supreme legal and religious council of the Jews. They deliberate and take decisions on any matter affecting the Jews. They were strong persecutors of the apostles. They were made up of the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Scribes.
THE TRIAL AND DEFENSE OF PAUL (Acts 23:1-16)
After the arrest of Paul, he was brought before the Sanhedrin. During his defence, his arguments annoyed Ananias the high priest and he asked that Paul be slapped. Paul said to him, ‘God shall strike you, you white washed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck.’ Paul however later apologised to the high priest.
When Paul noticed that the Sanhedrin council was made up of Pharisees and Sadducees, he cleverly divided the assembly by declaring that he was persecuted because he taught about the resurrection of the dead. This statement divided the meeting because the Pharisees believed in the resurrection while the Sadducees rejected the belief.
To the Pharisees nothing was wrong with Paul as they said a spirit or an angel might have spoken to him, this further annoyed the Sadducees. The argument continued and the meeting was adjourned. Paul was taken to the barracks.
- ‘Indeed a great prophet has arisen among us.’ What led to this statement?
- Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen. Trace the incidentthat led to this statement.
PAUL BEFORE FELIX
Who was Felix?
Felix was a man of ignoble birth, a freedman who had attained high status of being the governor in Caesarea. This was because his brother Pallas was very influential and a favourite of the imperial court.
His wife was named Drusilla and their interest was strictly based on academics. Though they had little knowledge of Christianity, Felix presided over Paul’s trial.
PAUL’S TRIAL BEFORE FELIX (Acts 24:1-27)
Paul was sent to Caesarea from Jerusalem by Claudius Lysias to Governor Felix for trial. The Jews sent Ananias the high priest, some elders and Tertullus as their spokesman; and they all accused Paul wrongly.Tertullus accused Paul of being a pestilent fellow, an agitator among the Jews, a ring leader of the sect of the Nazarene and defiling the temple. Paul defended himself by saying that he was only persecuted for preaching and worshipping God the way he did, and for teaching the resurrection.
The case was adjourned.
After some days, Felix sent for Paul. Paul spoke boldly about Jesus, justice, self control and future judgement. This got Felix afraid and he sent Paul away and kept on postponing his case hoping that Paul would offer him bribe to be set free.
Two years later, Felix was recalled to Rome and in order to make the Jews happy, he left Paul in prison. Porcius Festus took over as the Governor in Caesarea.
- Paul was arrested at ……… (a) Lystra (b) Caesarea (c) Jerusalem
- Paul and Barnabas were addressed as gods at …… (a) Philippi (b) Lystra (c) Derbe
- Peter received the vision to go to Cornelius’ house at… (a) Jerusalem (b) Joppa (c) Lydda
- The origin of the church at Samaria can be traced to….. (a) Antioch (b) Jerusalem (c) Caesarea
- The Sanhedrin council deliberated and took decision on matters affecting the ……… (a) Church (b) Jews (c) Gentiles
- God shall strike you, you white washed wall.’ This statement was addressed to the ……. (a) Pharisees (b) chief priest (c) high priest
- During the first missionary journey, John Mark left the apostles at …… (a) Antioch (b) Lystra (c) Perga
- The most important factor that helped in the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire was …… (a) good roads (b) good administration (c) religious toleration
- You son of the devil, you enemy of righteousness, you shall not see the sun …. This statement was directed at …… (a) the high priest (b) Simon the sorcerer (c) Elymas
- Jacob’s fourth son was named …… (a) Levi (b) Napthali (c) Dan
- What was the nature of God’s covenant with Abraham?
- Describe Jesus teaching on love for one another.