And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,…
We have here the first occurrence of a term which seems to have been used familiarly as a synonym for the disciples of Christ (Acts 19:9, 23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:14, 22). It may have originated in the words in which Christ had claimed to be Himself the "Way," as well as the "Truth" and the "Life" (John 14:6); or in His language as to the "strait way" that led to eternal life (Matthew 7:13); or, perhaps, again, in the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3) cited by the Baptist (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3) as to preparing "the way of the Lord." Prior to the general acceptance of the term "Christian" (Acts 11:26) it served as a convenient, neutral designation by which might be used by others wished to speak respectfully, or, at least, neutrally, instead of the opprobrious epithet of the "Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5). The history of the term "Methodists," those that follow a distinct "method" or "way" of life, offers a partial but interesting analogue.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,