New American Standard Bible
And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, "We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"
King James Bible
And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
Darby Bible Translation
And there was a great clamour, and the scribes of the Pharisees' part rising up contended, saying, We find nothing evil in this man; and if a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel ...
World English Bible
A great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and contended, saying, "We find no evil in this man. But if a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let's not fight against God!"
Young's Literal Translation
And there came a great cry, and the scribes of the Pharisees' part having arisen, were striving, saying, 'No evil do we find in this man; and if a spirit spake to him, or a messenger, we may not fight against God;'
Acts 23:9 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
A great cry - A great clamor and tumult.
The scribes - The learned men. They would naturally be the chief speakers.
Of the Pharisees' part - Who were Pharisees, or who belonged to that party. The scribes were not a distinct sect, but might be either Pharisees or Sadducees.
We find no evil in this man - No opinion which is contrary to the Law of Moses; no conduct in spreading the doctrine of the resurrection which we do not approve. The importance of this doctrine, in their view, was so great as to throw into the background all the other doctrines that Paul might hold; and, provided this were propagated, they were willing to vindicate and sustain him. A similar testimony was offered to the innocence of the Saviour by Pilate, John 19:6.
But if a spirit or an angel ... - They here referred, doubtless, to what Paul had said in Acts 22:17-18. He had declared that he had gone among the I Gentiles in obedience to a command which he received in a vision in the temple. As the Pharisees held to the belief of spirits and angels, and to the doctrine that the will of God was often delivered to people by their agency, they were ready now to admit that he had received such a communication, and that he had gone among the Gentiles in obedience to it, to defend their great doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. We are not to suppose that the Pharisees had become the friends of Paul or of Christianity. The true solution of their conduct doubtless is, that they were so inflamed with hatred against the Sadducees that they were willing to make use of any argument against their doctrine. As the testimony of Paul might be turned to their account, they were willing to vindicate him. It is remarkable, too, that they perverted the statement of Paul in order to oppose the Sadducees. Paul had stated distinctly Acts 22:17-18 that he had been commanded to go by the Lord, meaning the Lord Jesus. He had said nothing of "a spirit or an angel." Yet they would unite with the Sadducees so far as to maintain that he had received no such command from the Lord Jesus. But they might easily vary his statements, and suppose that an "angel or a spirit" had spoken to him, and thus make use of his conduct as an argument against the Sadducees. Men are not always very careful about the exact correctness of their statements when they wish to humble a rival.
Let us not fight against God - See the notes on Acts 5:39. These words are missing in many mss. and in some of the ancient versions. The Syriac reads it, "If a spirit or an angel have spoken to him, what is there in this?" that is, what is there unusual or wrong?
LibraryThe Witness of Our Own Spirit
"This is our rejoicing, the testimony of out conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world." 2 Cor. 1:12 1. Such is the voice of every true believer in Christ, so long as he abides in faith and love. "He that followeth me," saith our Lord, "walketh not in darkness:" And while he hath the light, he rejoiceth therein. As he hath "received the Lord Jesus Christ," so he walketh in him; and while he walketh …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
Whether Discord is a Sin?
The Life and Death of Mr. Badman,
How Sowers of Strifes and Peacemakers are to be Admonished.
1 Samuel 12:5
He said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day that you have found nothing in my hand." And they said, "He is witness."
Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and to the prophets, "No death sentence for this man! For he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."
When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?"
The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?"
So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An angel has spoken to Him."
"But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me,
and I found him to be accused over questions about their Law, but under no accusation deserving death or imprisonment.
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