Book of Acts Chapter 27 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-17-2014
In Acts chapter 26, Paul was afforded the opportunity to address a rather large crowd, at what Luke depicted as a rather festive gathering, concerning his Christian profession. As we discussed at length while presenting that chapter, Paul did not necessarily speak for the benefit of Herod Agrippa, who was an Edomite and certainly not a candidate for the Christian profession. Rather, Paul addressed Herod as a matter of protocol, and used the occasion in order to witness to the many hundreds of others who must have been present. We pointed out that Paul himself explained his philosophy in these matters in the first chapter of his epistle to the Philippians, where he attested “... that those things concerning me have gone still more to the advancement of the good message, so that my bonds in Christ have become manifest to the whole Praetorium and to all the rest; and most of the brethren among the number of the Prince, trusting in my bonds, venture more exceedingly to speak the word of Yahweh fearlessly. Some indeed even because of envy and strife, but some also by approval are proclaiming the Christ. Surely these out of love, knowing that I am set for a defense of the good message, but those out of contention are declaring the Christ not purely, supposing to stir up tribulation in my bonds. What then? That in every way, whether in pretext or in truth, Christ is declared, and in this I rejoice. And surely I will rejoice.”
Luke's record of Paul's defense of the faith in Acts chapter 26 most likely did not represent everything that Paul had said that day. Rather, it is evident that each time such an episode is related in Scripture, only particular points are recalled by the writer. We see this style throughout the Gospels, where Christ had spoken and where His words were recorded by more than one apostle, often one apostle recorded His words somewhat differently than the others, while all are clearly recalling the same account. One may have more or different details than the other, and having two or three accounts and compounding them we may see a fuller picture of what Christ had done or said. In the same manner, a fuller account of Paul's actions prior to his conversion, and the road to Damascus event itself, is brought to light once all three of the descriptions of those things which are found in Acts are compounded. Yet while we have only this one account of Paul's final address in Judaea, we do have a comprehensive witness of his Christian profession to the Judaeans, meaning of course, the Israelites of Judaea, and we have it in the epistle to the Hebrews. Here it may be appropriate to discuss that epistle.