Acts 23:6
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(6) But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees . . .—We recognise the same parties in the council as there had been twenty-five years before. Whether they sat in groups on different sides, after the manner of the Government and Opposition benches in the House of Commons, or whether St. Paul recognised the faces of individual teachers of each sect with whom he had formerly been acquainted, we have no data for deciding.

I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.—It is natural, from one point of view, to dwell chiefly on the tact of the Apostle. He seems to be acting, consciously or unconsciously, on the principle divide et impera, to win over to his side a party who would otherwise have been his enemies. With this there comes, it may be, a half-doubt whether the policy thus adopted was altogether truthful. Was St. Paul at that time really a Pharisee? Was he not, as following in his Master’s footsteps, the sworn foe of Pharisaism? The answer to that question, which obviously ought to be answered and not suppressed, is that all parties have their good and bad sides, and that those whom the rank and file of a party most revile may be the most effective witnesses for the truths on which the existence of the party rests. The true leaders of the Pharisees had given a prominence to the doctrine of the Resurrection which it had never had before. They taught an ethical rather than a sacrificial religion. Many of them had been, like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathæa, secret disciples of our Lord. At this very time there were many avowed Pharisees among the members of the Christian Church (Acts 15:5). St. Paul, therefore, could not be charged with any suppressio veri in calling himself a Pharisee. It did not involve even a tacit disclaimer of his faith in Christ. It was rather as though he said, “I am one with you in all that is truest in your creed. I invite you to listen and see whether what I now proclaim to you is not the crown and completion of all your hopes and yearnings. Is not the resurrection of Jesus the one thing needed for a proof of that hope of the resurrection of the dead of which you and your fathers have been witnesses?”

Acts 23:6-8. But when Paul perceived Γνους δε ο Παυλος, Paul knowing, in consequence of his being personally acquainted with many whom he saw sitting round; that one part of the council were Pharisees, and the other Sadducees, cried out, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee — I am such both by birth and education, as also by my own free choice, having voluntarily attached myself to that sect: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question — Meaning, that he was brought before them as a criminal for preaching the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, as a proof of the resurrection of all the dead at the last day. Certainly this was a principal part (though not the whole) of the truth, since the chief thing which enraged the Sadducees against Christianity, was the demonstration it gave to the doctrine of a resurrection, which they so eagerly opposed. When he had so said, there arose a dissension — A disagreement and contention producing a separation between the Pharisees and Sadducees, several persons of each sect becoming warm in the debate. For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection — Of the dead. See on Matthew 22:23. Neither angel nor separate spirit — It seems strange that the Sadducees should deny that there were angels, considering that they acknowledged the authority of the five books of Moses, in which mention is frequently made of angels; but it seems they either understood the passages that speak of angels, in those books, allegorically, or, as Dr. Whitby observes, supposed that when they are said to appear, they were framed at that particular time for that purpose, and afterward ceased to have any being: so that, after the giving of the law, at least, no angel existed. And with regard to their denying the existence of spirits, the meaning probably is, not that they denied God to be a spirit, or that there was any spirit in man, but, as Josephus testifies, they denied, της ψυχης την διαμονην, the permanency of the soul after death, or, that any spirits existed in a state of separation from men’s bodies. But the Pharisees confess both — Both the resurrection and the existence of angels and separate spirits.

23:6-11 The Pharisees were correct in the faith of the Jewish church. The Sadducees were no friends to the Scripture or Divine revelation; they denied a future state; they had neither hope of eternal happiness, nor dread of eternal misery. When called in question for his being a Christian, Paul might truly say he was called in question for the hope of the resurrection of the dead. It was justifiable in him, by this profession of his opinion on that disputed point, to draw off the Pharisees from persecuting him, and to lead them to protect him from this unlawful violence. How easily can God defend his own cause! Though the Jews seemed to be perfectly agreed in their conspiracy against religion, yet they were influenced by very different motives. There is no true friendship among the wicked, and in a moment, and with the utmost ease, God can turn their union into open enmity. Divine consolations stood Paul in the most stead; the chief captain rescued him out of the hands of cruel men, but the event he could not tell. Whoever is against us, we need not fear, if the Lord stand by us. It is the will of Christ, that his servants who are faithful, should be always cheerful. He might think he should never see Rome; but God tells him, even in that he should be gratified, since he desired to go there only for the honour of Christ, and to do good.But when Paul perceived - Probably by his former acquaintance with the men who composed the council. As he had been brought up in Jerusalem, and had been before acquainted with the Sanhedrin Acts 9:2, he would have an acquaintance, doubtless, with the character of most of those present, though he had been absent from them for fourteen years, Galatians 2:1.

The one part ... - That the council was divided into two parts, Pharisees and Sadducees. This was commonly the case, though it was uncertain which had the majority. In regard to the opinions of these two sects, see the notes on Matthew 3:7.

He cried out ... - The reasons why Paul resolved to take advantage of their difference of opinion were, probably:

(1) That he saw that it was impossible to expect justice at their hands, and he therefore regarded it as prudent and proper to consult his own safety. He saw, from the conduct of Ananias, and from the spirit manifested Acts 23:4, that they, like the other Jews, had prejudged the case, and were driven on by blind rage and fury.

(2) his object was to show his innocence to the chief captain. To ascertain that was the purpose for which he had been arraigned. Yet that, perhaps, could be most directly and satisfactorily shown by bringing out, as he knew he could do, the real spirit which actuated the whole council, as a spirit of party strife, contention, and persecution. Knowing, therefore, how sensitive they were on the subject of the resurrection, he seems to have resolved to do what he would not have done had they been disposed to hear him according to the rules of justice - to abandon the direct argument for his defense, and to enlist a large part, perhaps a majority of the council, in his favor. Whatever may be thought of the propriety of this course, it cannot be denied that it was a masterstroke of policy, and that it evinced a profound knowledge of human nature.

I am a Pharisee - That is, I was of that sect among the Jews. I was born a Pharisee, and I ever continued while a Jew to be of that sect. In the main he agreed with them still. He did not mean to deny that he was a Christian, but that, so far as the Pharisees differed from the Sadducees, he was with the former. He agreed with them, not with the Sadducees, in regard to the doctrine of the resurrection, and the existence of angels and spirits.

The son of a Pharisee - What was the name of his father is not known. But the meaning is, simply, that he was entitled to all the immunities and privileges of a Pharisee. He had, from his birth, belonged to that sect, nor had he ever departed from the great cardinal doctrine which distinguished that sect - the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Compare Philippians 3:5.

Of the hope and resurrection of the dead - That is, of the hope that the dead will be raised. This is the real point of the opposition to me.

I am called in question - Greek: I am judged; that is, I am persecuted, or brought to trial. Orobio charges this upon Paul as an artful manner of declining persecution, unworthy the character of an upright and honest man. Chubb, a British Deist of the seventeenth century, charges it upon Paul as an act of gross "dissimulation, as designed to conceal the true ground of all the troubles that he had brought upon himself, and as designed to deceive and impose upon the Jews." He affirms also that "Paul probably invented this pretended charge against himself to draw over a party of the unbelieving Jews unto him." See Chubb's Posthumous Works, vol. ii. p. 238. Now, in reply to this, we may observe:

(1) That there is not the least evidence that Paul denied that he had been, or was then, a Christian. An attempt to deny this, after all that they knew of him, would have been vain; and there is not the slightest hint that he attempted it.

(2) the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was the main and leading doctrine which he had insisted on, and which had been to him the cause of much of his persecution. See Acts 17:31-32; 1 Corinthians 15; Acts 13:34; Acts 26:6-7, Acts 26:23, Acts 26:25.

(3) Paul defended this by an argument which he deemed invincible; and which constituted, in fact, the principal evidence of its truth - the fact that the Lord Jesus had been raised. That fact had fully confirmed the doctrine of the Pharisees that the dead would rise. As Paul had everywhere proclaimed the fact that Jesus had been raised up, and as this had been the occasion of his being opposed, it was true that he had been persecuted on account of that doctrine.

(4) the real ground of the opposition Which the Sadducees made to him, and of their opposition to his doctrine, was the additional zeal with which he urged this doctrine, and the additional argument which he brought for the resurrection of the dead. Perhaps the cause of the opposition of this great party among the Jews the Sadducees - to Christianity, was the strong confirmation which the resurrection of Christ gave to the doctrine which they so much hated - the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. It thus gave a triumph to their opponents among the Pharisees, and Paul, as a leading and zealous advocate of that doctrine, would excite their special hatred.

(5) all that Paul said, therefore, was strictly true. It was because he advocated this doctrine that he was opposed. That there were other causes of opposition to him might be true also; but still this was the main and prominent cause of the hostility.


6-9. when Paul perceived—from the discussion which plainly had by this time arisen between the parties.

that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out—raising his voice above both parties.

I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee—The true reading seems to be, "the son of Pharisees," that is, belonging to a family who from father to son had long been such.

of the hope and resurrection of the dead—that is, not the vague hope of immortality, but the definite expectation of the resurrection.

I am called in question—By this adroit stroke, Paul engages the whole Pharisaic section of the council in his favor; the doctrine of a resurrection being common to both, though they would totally differ in their application of it. This was, of course, quite warrantable, and the more so as it was already evident that no impartiality in trying his cause was to be looked for from such an assembly.

I am a Pharisee; in his former profession, opinion, and conversation; and now also in the points that were controverted betwixt them: and St. Paul, with his dove like innocency, does in this but make use of the serpentine subtlety, to preserve himself, and to gain credit unto the truths of the gospel.

The son of a Pharisee; the son of Pharisees, in the plural; either for several descents his ancestors had been of that sect; or that both his father and his mother were of it.

Of the hope and resurrection; or, for the hope of the resurrection; an hendyadis: although he did not agree with the Pharisees in all their opinions, yet in this he did; and the resurrection was the common subject he preached upon: and the gospel does give us the best proof and evidence of it; insomuch that Paul was taxed for preaching Jesus and the resurrection, Acts 17:18; and unless there be a resurrection, his preaching was vain, and his faith vain, 1 Corinthians 15:13,14.

But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees,.... That is, that one part of the sanhedrim consisted of Sadducees, which was often the case; sometimes the high priest was of this sect, as Ananias probably was, and sometimes the greater part of the sanhedrim were Sadducees, and even sometimes the whole; See Gill on Acts 5:17, but this sanhedrim were only part of them Sadducees:

and the other Pharisees; of both these sects; see Gill on Matthew 3:7.

he cried out in the council; with a loud voice, that he might be heard by all:

men and brethren,

I am a Pharisee; he was not only brought up in that sect from his youth, and lived according to it before his conversion, but he was still a Pharisee; wherefore he does not say, I "was", but I "am" a Pharisee; for whatever distinguished the Pharisee from the Sadducee, whether in principle, or in practice, and manner of living, which agreed with Christianity, the apostle still retained; as the belief of the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the dead, and a future state, and strict holiness of life and conversation.

The son of a Pharisee; the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin version, read in the plural number, "the son of Pharisees"; his father and his mother were both Pharisees; for there were women Pharisees (w), as well as men; so that he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, as well as an Hebrew of the Hebrews; and this is said to show that he was by education of that sect.

Of the hope and resurrection of the dead, I am called in question; that is, either for the hope of the resurrection of the dead, Acts 24:15 or for professing the hope of eternal life, and happiness in a future state, and the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, when the soul and body will be reunited, and enjoy endless felicity together: not that these were the particular things now charged upon him, and for which he was now trying and judging; but that these were the ground and foundation of the hatred and persecution of him, because he preached the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and the resurrection of men through him, and that there was hope of eternal life and salvation by him. And in this the apostle showed the prudence and wisdom of the serpent, along with the innocence of the dove, hereby to divide the assembly, and free himself from them; and it was but just and right; for since they would not hear him about to make a fair and open defence of his cause, but ordered him to be smitten on the mouth, it was but justice to throw them into confusion, and save himself.

(w) Misna Sota, c. 3. sect. 4.

{5} But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

(5) We may sometimes lawfully set the wicked against themselves, so that they stop assaulting us, in order that the truth is not hindered.

Acts 23:6-7. Whether the irony of Acts 23:5 was understood by the Sanhedrists or not, Paul at all events now knew that here a plain and straightforward defence, such as he had begun (Acts 23:1), was quite out of place. With great presence of mind and prudence he forthwith resorts to a means—all the more effectual in the excited state of their minds—of bringing the two parties, well known to him in the council, into collision with one another, and thereby for the time disposing the more numerous party, that of the Pharisees, in favour of his person and cause. He did not certainly, from his knowledge of Pharisaism and from his previous experiences, conceive to himself the possibility of an actual “internal crisis” among the Pharisees (Baumgarten); but by the enlisting of their sectarian interests, and preventing their co-operation with the Sadducees, much was gained in the present position of affairs, especially in presence of the tribune, for Paul and his work.

ἐν τῷ συνεδρ.] so that he thus did not direct this exclamation (ἔκραξεν) to any definite individuals.

ἐγὼ Φαρισ. εἰμι, υἱὸς Φαρισ.] i.e. I for my part am a Pharisee, a born Pharisee. The plural Φαρισαίων refers to his male ancestors (father, grandfather, and perhaps still further back), not, as Grotius thinks, to his father and mother, as the mother here, where the sect was concerned, could not be taken into account (it is otherwise with Php 3:5, ἐξ Ἑβρ.). We may add, that Paul’s still affirming of himself the Φαρισαῖον εἶναι is as little untrue as Php 3:5 (in opposition to Zeller). He designates himself as a Jew, who, as such, belonged to no other than the religious society of the Pharisees; and particularly in the doctrine of the resurrection, Paul, as a Christian, continued to defend the confession of the Pharisees (in opposition to all Sadduceeism) according to its truth confirmed in the case of Christ Himself (Acts 4:1 f.). His contending against the legal righteousness, hypocrisy, etc., of the Pharisees, and his consequent labouring in an anti-Pharisaical sense, were directed not against the sect in itself, but against its moral and other perversions. Designated a Jew, Paul still remained what he was from his birth, a Pharisee, and as such an orthodox Jew, in contrast to Sadducean naturalism.

περὶ ἐλπ. καὶ ἀναστ. νεκρ. ἐγὼ κρίν.] on account of hope, etc.; hope and (and indeed, as regards its object) resurrection of the dead it is, on account of which I (ἐγώ has the emphasis of the aroused consciousness of unjust treatment) am called in question. Comp. Acts 24:15, Acts 26:6-8. As the accusations contained in Acts 21:28, οὗτοςδιδάσκων,[147] were nothing else than hateful perversions of the proposition: “This man preaches a new religion, which is to come in place of the Mosaic in its subsisting form;” and as in this new religion, in point of fact, everything according to its highest aim culminated in the hope of the Messianic salvation, which will be realized by the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15): so it follows that Paul has put the cause of the ΚΡΊΝΟΜΑΙ in the form most suited to the critical situation of the moment, without altering the substance of the matter as it stood objectively.[148]

ΣΤΆΣΙς ΤῶΝ ΦΑΡΙΣ. ΚΑῚ ΣΑΔΔ.] without repetition of ΤῶΝ (see the critical remarks): the Pharisees and Sadducees, the two parties conceived of together as the corporation of the Sanhedrim (comp. on Matthew 3:6), became at variance (Acts 15:2), and the mass—the multitude of those assembled—was divided.

[147] The untruth added to these accusations, ἔτι τε χαὶ Ἕλληνας κ.τ.λ., Paul might here with reason leave entirely out of consideration.

[148] The procedure of Paul in helping himself with dialectic dexterity was accordingly this: he reduces the accusations contained in Acts 21:28 to the pure matter of fact, and he grasps this matter of fact (the announcement of the Messianic kingdom) in that form which was necessary for his object. “Non deerat Paulo humana etiam prudentia, qua in bonum evangelii utens, columbae serpentem utiliter miscebat et inimicorum dissidiis fruebatur,” Grotius.

Acts 23:6. γνοὺςτὸἓ τὸ δὲ ἕτερον. On ἕνἕτερον: see Simcox Language of the N.T., pp. 71, 72. That Pharisees and Sadducees alike had seats in the Sanhedrim during this period is borne out not only by the N. T., but by Jos., Ant., xx., 9, 1, B.J., ii., 17, 3, Vita, 38, 39. It is possible that the Pharisees might have attracted the attention of the Apostle by their protest against the behaviour of Ananias and their acceptance of the words of apology (so Felten, Zöckler), but it is equally probable that in St. Luke’s apparently condensed account the appeal to the Pharisees was not made on a sudden impulse (see below), but was based upon some manifestation of sympathy with his utterances. In Acts 23:9 it is evidently implied that the story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus had been narrated, and his acceptance of the Messiahship of the Risen Jesus carried with it his belief in a resurrection.—ἔκραξεν: the word may here as sometimes elsewhere, cf. John 7:37; John 12:44, indicate no isolated cry, but a reference to something previously said, and it is probable that St. Luke may have passed over here as elsewhere some portions of the Apostle’s speech, which were less intimately connected with the development and issue of events. It must however be noted that the verb may mean that the Apostle cried aloud so that all might hear him amidst the rising confusion.—ἐγὼ φαρι. εἰμι κ.τ.λ.: the words have been severely criticised, but in a very real sense they truthfully expressed the Apostle’s convictions. Before Felix St. Paul made practically the same assertion, although he did not use the word φαρ. (cf. also Acts 26:5), Hort, Judaistic Christianity, p. 111. Moreover it is difficult to see why the Apostle should not describe himself as a Pharisee in face of the statement, Acts 15:5, that many members of the sect were also members of the Christian Church. They, like St. Paul, must have acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah. But that Messiahship was attested by the avowal of the resurrection of Jesus, and the resurrection was a prominent article of the Pharisees’ creed. In the acceptance of this latter doctrine St. Paul was at one not only with the “Pharisees who believed,” but with the whole sect, and that he used the title in this limited way, viz., with relation to the hope of the resurrection, is plain from the context, which fixes the limitation by the Apostle’s own words. But because the declaration shows the tact of St. Paul, because it is an instance of his acting upon the maxim Divide et impera, has it no higher side in relation to his character and purpose? May we not even say that to the Pharisees he became as a Pharisee in order to save some, to lead them to see the crown and fulfilment of the hope in which he and they were at one, in the Person of Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life? That the Apostle’s action met with Divine approval seems evident, Acts 23:11. See “Paul” (Dr. Llewellyn Davies), B.D.1, iii., 754, 755, and amongst recent writers, Luckock, but on the other hand Gilbert, Student’s Life of Paul, p. 187 ff. Bethge attributes to the Apostle an apologetic aim, viz., to show the chiliarch that Christianity should be protected by the State, since it was no new religion, but really proceeded from Judaism; and in support he refers to the words of Lysias, Acts 23:29; but although the Apostle’s appeal may have helped Lysias to form his judgment, it seems somewhat strained to attribute to the Apostle the motive assigned by Bethge.—υἱὸς φαρ.: “a son of Pharisees,” R.V. plural, which is the best reading, i.e., his ancestors, 2 Timothy 1:3, Php 3:5, possibly including his teachers by a familiar Hebraism.—περὶ ἐλπίδος καὶ ἀνασ.: generally taken as a hendiadys (so Page), “hope of a resurrection of the dead” (see, however, Winer-Moulton, lxvi. 7). In Acts 26:6 ἐλπίς is used of the hope of a future Messianic salvation—the hope of Israel—but in Acts 24:15 St. Paul distinctly makes mention of the hope of a resurrection of the dead, and his own words again in Acts 24:21 seem to exclude anything beyond that question as under discussion on the present occasion.

6. But when Paul perceived, &c.] We are not told in what way the knowledge which the Apostle here acted on was gained. Perhaps the Pharisees, as in the parable of the Pharisee and publican, kept themselves apart; or to a Jewish eye some mark of their dress may have been enough to bespeak a difference of party. St Paul used this party spirit in a perfectly legitimate manner. What he did was not done merely to set them by the ears, but to secure an opportunity for speaking on that central doctrine of Christianity, the resurrection of the dead. (Cp. Acts 24:21.)

Men and brethren] Better “Brethren.” See note on Acts 1:16.

the son of a Pharisee] The best MSS. give a son of Pharisees. This reading has the advantage of removing St Paul’s language beyond the questioning which has sometimes been raised about it. “I am a Pharisee,” he says. And the question has been raised, whether he had a right to describe himself thus. When he continues “a son of Pharisees” we see that he is stating that by descent and birth his family had for generations been members of that party. Having said this, he then propounds that doctrine which, of all their teaching, was that which severed them from the Sadducees. That this point also was the central doctrine of Christianity makes St Paul’s address not disingenuous, but an appeal to those who agreed with him thus far in his belief, to hear what he had further to say which might meet with their acceptance. And it is not as if the Apostle had raised the question in their midst on some side-issue. The whole teaching of the Christian church rested on the truth of the resurrection, and therefore with much wisdom and without any thought of deception he cries, “I am a Pharisee, and for teaching the doctrine of the resurrection (which they hold) I am now called in question.”

Acts 23:6. Ἔκραξεν, he cried out) Making an open profession, in order that all in the crowd might hear: ch. Acts 24:21. Here the saying held good, in a good sense, “Divide et impera,” divide, and you will thereby command. Paul did not use craft of reason or dialectical stratagem, but simply invites to his defence those who were less far removed from the truth.—Φαρισαῖος εἰμι, I am a Pharisee) according to my ancient discipline (training); and even yet am so, as far as concerns faith in the resurrection.—υἱὸς Φαρισαίου) υἱὸς Φαρισαίων, others read, whose testimony is corroborated by the ancient authority, Tertullian. [The Gnomon here follows, not the margin of the larger Edition, but that of the 2d Edition, along with the Germ. Vers.—E. B. Φαρισαίων is read by [126]


[128] Vulg. Syr[129]; but ΦΑΡΙΣΑΊΟΥ of the Rec. Text, only by [130]

[131] of the very old authorities.] Moreover Paul calls himself a son of the Pharisees, not meaning his preceptors, which would give tautology in the sense, a Pharisee, a son of the Pharisees, nor does Paul mention in ch. Acts 22:3 a number of preceptors, but Gamaliel alone; but he means that he had parents, or a father and grandfather or forefathers, Pharisees: comp. 2 Timothy 1:3. In this way there is a Climax: a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees.—ἐλπίδος καὶ ἀναστάσεως, of the hope and resurrection) A Hendiadys: for it was the resurrection that they hoped for.—ἐγὼ κρίνομαι, I am judged, called in question) In the present judicial procedure, in which Ananias acts the part of president, saith Paul, the case has come to this, that the hope and resurrection of the dead is being impugned. The predecessors of Ananias had been Sadducees, ch. Acts 5:17, and now also he himself was a Sadducee. Now, when more than twenty years had elapsed from the resurrection of Jesus Christ, they did not so unceasingly assail the preaching concerning Jesus Christ and His resurrection, as they did the dogma itself concerning the Resurrection of the dead, which was long ago odious to them; as indeed they had already done, ch. Acts 4:2 : whereas the Pharisees, in this respect, were not so far removed from the Christian faith. Therefore Paul conciliates them to himself, whilst the Sadducees were the more enraged in consequence. This then was what at that time the state of the controversy became, which Paul earnestly and stedfastly mentions subsequently, ch. Acts 24:15; Acts 24:21, Acts 26:6-7, Acts 28:20.

[126] the Alexandrine MS.: in Brit. Museum: fifth century: publ. by Woide, 1786–1819: O. and N. Test. defective.

[127] Cod. Basilianus (not the B. Vaticanus): Revelation: in the Vatican: edited by Tisch., who assigns it to the beginning of the eighth century.

[128] Ephræmi Rescriptus: Royal libr., Paris: fifth or sixth cent.: publ. by Tisch. 1843: O. and N. T. def.

[129] yr. the Peschito Syriac Version: second cent.: publ. and corrected by Cureton, from MS. of fifth cent.

[130] Laudianus: Bodl. libr., Oxford: seventh or eighth cent.: publ. 1715: Acts def.

[131] Laudianus, do.: Acts.

Verse 6. - Brethren for men and brethren, A.V. (as in ver. 1); a son of Pharisees for the son of a Pharisee, A.V. and T.R.; touching for of, A.V. When Paul perceived, etc. Possibly the Pharisees in the Sanhedrim were disgusted at the brutal act of Ananias, and were not sorry to hear him called "a whited wall;" and St. Paul's quick intelligence saw at a glance that the whole council did not sympathize with their president, and divined the cause. With a ready wit, therefore, he proclaimed himself a Pharisee, and, seizing upon the great dogma of the resurrection, which Christians held in common with the Pharisees, he rallied to his side all who were Pharisees in the assembly. Of Pharisees. The R.T. has Φαρισαίων (in the plural), which gives the sense that his ancestors were Pharisees (comp. Philippians 3:5). Touching the hope, etc. (see Acts 24:21). The words are somewhat difficult to construe. Some take "the hope and resin'. rection of the dead" for a hendiadys, equivalent to "the hope of the resurrection of the dead." Some take ἐλπίς by itself, as meaning "the hope of a future life." Perhaps the exact form of the words is, "Touching the hope and (its ultimate object) the resurrection of the dead I am called in question." The article is omitted after the preposition (Alford). As regards St. Paul's action in taking advantage of the strong party feeling by which the Sanhedrim was divided, there is a difference of opinion. Some, as Alford, think that the presence of mind and skill with which Paul divided the hostile assembly was a direct fulfillment of our Lord's promise (Mark 13:9-11; see Homiletics, 1-11) to suggest by his Spirit to those under persecution what they ought to say. Farrar, on the contrary, strongly blames St. Paul, and says," The plan showed great knowledge of character... but was it worthy of St. Paul?... Could he worthily say, 'I am a Pharisee'? Had he any right to inflame an existing animosity?" and more to the same effect (vol. it. pp. 325-328). But it could not be wrong for St. Paul to take advantage of the agreement of Christian doctrine with some of the tenets of the Pharisees, to check the Pharisees from joining with the Sadducees in crushing that doctrine. He had never thrown off his profession as a Jew, and if a Jew, then one of the straitest sect of the Jews, in any of its main features; and if he claimed the freedom of a Roman citizen to save himself from scourging, why not the fact of being a Pharisee of Pharisees to save himself from an iniquitous sentence of the Sanhedrim? Acts 23:6The one part were Sadducees, etc

Perceiving the impossibility of getting a fair hearing, Paul, with great tact, seeks to bring the two parties of the council into collision with each other.

The resurrection

A main point of contention between the Pharisees and Sadducees, the latter of whom denied the doctrine of the resurrection, of a future state, and of any spiritual existence apart from the body.

Acts 23:6 Interlinear
Acts 23:6 Parallel Texts

Acts 23:6 NIV
Acts 23:6 NLT
Acts 23:6 ESV
Acts 23:6 NASB
Acts 23:6 KJV

Acts 23:6 Bible Apps
Acts 23:6 Parallel
Acts 23:6 Biblia Paralela
Acts 23:6 Chinese Bible
Acts 23:6 French Bible
Acts 23:6 German Bible

Bible Hub

Acts 23:5
Top of Page
Top of Page