Acts 22:1
Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
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(1) Men, brethren, and fathers.—The apparently triple division is really only two-fold—Brethren and fathers. (See Note on Acts 7:2.) It is noticeable that he begins his speech with the self-same formula as Stephen. It was, perhaps, the received formula in addressing an assembly which included the scribes and elders.

Acts 22:1-2. Men, brethren, and fathers — Of whatsoever age, rank, or circumstance of life you are; hear ye my defence — Which ye could not hear before for the tumult. And when they heard that he spake in their vulgar tongue, then called the Hebrew dialect, they kept the more silence — Were the more disposed, numerous as the assembly was, to hearken to him attentively.

22:1-11 The apostle addressed the enraged multitude, in the customary style of respect and good-will. Paul relates the history of his early life very particularly; he notices that his conversion was wholly the act of God. Condemned sinners are struck blind by the power of darkness, and it is a lasting blindness, like that of the unbelieving Jews. Convinced sinners are struck blind as Paul was, not by darkness, but by light. They are for a time brought to be at a loss within themselves, but it is in order to their being enlightened. A simple relation of the Lord's dealings with us, in bringing us, from opposing, to profess and promote his gospel, when delivered in a right spirit and manner, will sometimes make more impression that laboured speeches, even though it amounts not to the full proof of the truth, such as was shown in the change wrought in the apostle.Men, brethren, and fathers - This defense was addressed to the Jews, and Paul commenced it with an expression of sincere respect for them. Stephen began his defense with the same form of address. See the notes on Acts 7:2.

My defence - Against the charges brought against me. Those charges were, that he had endeavored to prejudice people everywhere against the Jews, the Law, and the temple, Acts 21:28. In order to meet this charge, Paul stated:

(1) That he was a Jew by birth, and had enjoyed all the advantages of a Jewish education, Acts 22:3;

(2) He recounted the circumstances of his conversion, and the reason why he believed that he was called to preach the gospel, Acts 22:4-16;

(3) He proceeded to state the reasons why he went among the Gentiles, and evidently intended to vindicate his conduct there, Acts 22:17-21; but at this point, at the name Gentiles, his defense was interrupted by the enraged multitude, and he was not permitted to proceed.

What would have been his defense, therefore, had he been suffered to finish it, it is impossible to know with certainty. On another occasion, however, he was permitted to make a similar defense, and perhaps to complete the train of thought which he had purposed to pursue here. See Acts 22.


Ac 22:1-30. Paul's Defense from the Stairs of the Fortress—The Rage of the Audience Bursting Forth, the Commandant Has Him Brought into the Fort to Be Examined by Scourging, but Learning that He Is a Roman, He Orders His Release and Commands the Samhedrim to Try Him.Acts 22:1-21 Paul declareth at large the manner of his conversion

and call to the apostleship.

Acts 22:22-24 At the very mentioning of the Gentiles the people

exclaim furiously against him: whereupon the chief

captain ordereth to examine him by scourging,

Acts 22:25-29 which he avoideth by pleading the privilege of a

Roman citizen.

Acts 22:30 He is brought before the Jewish council.

Although they were wicked men, and cruel persecutors, St. Paul giveth them their titles of respect, which by the places God had put them in, are due unto them: See Poole on "Acts 7:2".

Men, brethren, and fathers,.... A common form of address used by the Jews; see Acts 7:2 but that the apostle should introduce his speech to these people in this manner, after they had treated him so inhumanly, as to drag him out of the temple, and beat him so unmercifully, is remarkable, and worthy of observation, when they scarcely deserved the name of "men"; and yet he not only gives them this, but calls them "brethren", they being his countrymen and kinsmen according to the flesh; and fathers, there being some among them, who might be men in years, and even members of the sanhedrim, and elders of the people, that were now got among the crowd: this shows how ready the apostle was to put up with affronts, and to forgive injuries done him:

hear ye my defence, which I make now unto you; in opposition to the charges brought against him, of speaking ill of the people of the Jews, the law of Moses, and of the temple, and in order to clear himself of these imputations, and vindicate his character and conduct.

Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
Acts 22:1-3. Ἀδελφοὶ κ. πατέρες] quite a national address; comp. on Acts 7:2. Even Sanhedrists were not wanting in the hostile crowd; at least the speaker presupposes their presence.

ἀκούσατε κ.τ.λ.] hear from me my present defence to you. As to the double genitive with ἀκούειν, comp. on John 12:46.

After Acts 22:1, a pause.

ἐγὼ μέν] Luke has not at the very outset settled the logical arrangement of the sentence, and therefore mistakes the correct position of the μέν, which was appropriate only after γεγενν. Similar examples of the deranged position of μέν and δέ often occur in the classics. See Bäumlein, Partik. p. 168; Winer, p. 520 [E. T. 700].

ἀνατεθραμμένοςνόμου] Whether the comma is to be placed after ταύτῃ (Alberti, Wolf, Griesbach, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Lachmann, Tischendorf, de Wette) or after Γαμαλιήλ (Calvin, Beza, Castalio, and most of the older commentators, Bornemann), is—seeing that the meaning and the progression of the speech are the same with either construction—to be decided simply by the external structure of the discourse, according to which a new element is always introduced by the prefixing of a nominative participle: γεγεννημένος, ἀνατεθραμμένος, πεπαιδευμένος: born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city (Jerusalem) at the feet of Gamaliel (see on Acts 5:34), instructed according to the strictness of the ancestral law. The latter after the general ἀνατεθραμμ. κ.τ.λ. brings into relief a special point, and therefore it is not to he affirmed that παρὰ τ. πόδ. Γαμ. suits only πεπαιδ. (de Wette).

παρὰ τοὺς πόδας] a respectful expression (τὴν πολλὴν πρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα αἰδῶ δεικνύς, Chrysostom), to be explained from the Jewish custom of scholars sitting partly on the floor, partly on benches at the feet of their teacher, who sat more elevated on a chair (Schoettg. in loc.; Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. 179). The tradition that, until the death of Gamaliel, the scholars listened in a standing posture to their teachers (Vitringa, Synag. p. 166 f. Wagenseil, ad Sota, p. 993), even if it were the case (but see on Luke 2:46), cannot be urged against this view, as even the standing scholar may be conceived as being at the feet of his teacher sitting on the elevated cathedra (Matthew 23:2; Vitringa, l.c. p. 165 f).

κατὰ ἀκρίβ. τοῦ πατρῴου νόμου] i.e. in accordance with the strictness contained in (living and ruling in) the ancestral law. The genitive depends on ἀκρίβ. Erasmus, Castalio, and others connect it with πεπαιδ., held to be used substantively (Hermann, ad Viger. p. 777): carefully instructed in the ancestral law. Much too tame, as careful legal instruction is after ἀνατεθρ.… παρὰ τ. πόδ. Γαμαλ. understood of itself, and therefore the progress of the speech requires special climactic force.

The πατρῷος νόμος is the law received from the fathers[134] (comp. Acts 24:14, Acts 28:17), i.e. the Mosaic law, but not including the precepts of the Pharisees, as Kuinoel supposes—which is arbitrarily imported. It concerned Paul here only to bring into prominence the Mosaically orthodox strictness of his training; the other specifically Pharisaic element was suggested to the hearer by the mention of Gamaliel, but not by τ. πατρ. νόμου. Paul expresses himself otherwise in Php 3:5 and Galatians 1:14.

ΖΗΛΩΤῊς ὙΠΆΡΧ. ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ] so that I was a zealot for God (for the cause and glory of God), contains a special characteristic definition to πεπαιδευμένοςνόμου. Comp. Romans 10:2. “Uterque locus quiddam ex mimesi habet; nam Judaei putabant se tantum tribuere Deo, quantum detraherent Jesu Christo,” Bengel.

[134] Πατρῷα μὲν τὰ ἐχ πατέρων εἰς υἱοὺς χωροῦντα, Ammonius, p. 111. Concerning the difference of χατρῷος, πάτριος, and χατριχός, not always preserved, however, and often obscured by interchange in the codd., see Schoemann, ad Is. p. 218; Maetzn. ad Lycurg. p. 127; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 531 f. On πατρῷος νόμος, comp. 2Ma 6:1; Joseph. Antt. xii. 3. 3; Xen. Hell. ii. 3. 2; Thuc viii. 76. 6 : χάτριοι νόμοι

Acts 22:1. ἄνδρες ἀ. καὶ π., cf. Acts 7:2. So St. Stephen had addressed a similar assembly, in which had been Saul of Tarsus, who was now charged with a like offence as had been laid to the charge of the first Martyr. Those whom he addressed were his brethren according to the flesh, and his fathers, as the representatives of his nation, whether as Sanhedrists, or priests, or Rabbis. The mode of address was quite natural, since St. Paul’s object was conciliatory: τοῦτο τιμῆς, ἐκεῖνο γνησιότητος, Chrys., Hom., xlvii.—ἀκούσατε: “hear from me,” cf. John 12:47, a double genitive of the person and thing, as in classical Greek, or “hear my defence,” cf. 2 Timothy 4:16.—ἀπολογίας: five times in St. Paul’s Epistles, once elsewhere in Acts 25:16, in a strictly legal sense (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). Used with the verb ἀπολογέομαι of defending oneself against a charge, Wis 6:10, Xen., Mem., iv., 8, 5. In 2Ma 13:26 the verb is also used of Lysias ascending the rostrum and addressing the people in defence.

Acts 22:1-21. St Paul’s Defence

1. Men, brethren, and fathers] The Greek is amply rendered (with Rev. Ver.) by “Brethren and fathers.” See note on Acts 1:16.

hear ye my defence which I make now unto you] The Rev. Ver. substitutes the for my and puts now before make. There seems nothing gained by either change, the former of which leaves a pronoun which is in the original without anything to represent it. The A. V. does represent it, though not exactly after the manner of the Greek construction.

Acts 22:1. Πατέρες, Fathers) There were present high priests and elders.—νυνὶ, now) Heretofore they had not heard him by reason of the tumult. His defence looks back to ch. Acts 21:28; for as there, so also here, mention is made of the person of Paul, Acts 22:3; of the people and of the law, Acts 22:3; Acts 22:5; Acts 22:12; of the temple, Acts 22:17; of the teaching of all men, Acts 22:15-17; Acts 22:21; and of the truth of the doctrine taught, Acts 22:6, etc. Moreover he handles these topics with much energy, as his time was limited.

Verse 1. - Brethren for men, brethren, A.V. (Acts 7:2, note); the for my, A.V.; now make for make now, A.V. The defense; ἀπολογία This is the technical word in classical Greek for a defense in answer to an accusation. Thus e.g. the oration of Gorgias entitled, Υπὲρ Παλαμήδους ἀπολογία, begins, Ἡ μὲν κατηγορία καὶ ἡ ἀπολογία κρίσις οὐ περὶ θανάτου γίγνεται. And Demosthenes opposes κατηγρσεῖν to accuse, to ἀπολογεῖσθαι, to make one's defense. And an ἀπολογία δικαία καὶ ἁπλῆ is to prove that τὰ κατηγορημένα, "the things of which the person is accused," were never done. But it is probably from St. Paul's use of the word here that it became common to call the defenses of the Christian religion by the term ἀπολογία. Thus we have the 'Apologies' of Justin Martyr, of Tertullian, of Minutius Felix, among the ancients; me 'Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae,' by Bishop Jewel, and many others. Acts 22:1Defence (ἀπολογίας)

See on answer, 1 Peter 3:15.

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