Notes for my weekly Bible Study group.
- At the end of Acts 21, Paul was back in Jerusalem. The Jews seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple complex, planning to beat him to death.
- A Roman commander arrested Paul. Paul asked that he be allowed to address the crowd that had attacked him. Acts 22 records the text of Paul’s speech and the crowd’s’ reaction.
- Instead of preaching the gospel, Paul expains why he traveled with a Gentile from Ephesus. Paul reminds them of his strict education by the Pharisee rabbi Gamaliel and how violently he had, at first, persecuted Christians. Paul then explains his conversion and talks about his return to Jerusalem and how the Jews sought to kill him, so God told him to leave Jerusalem and concentrate on reaching the Gentiles. The mention of Gentiles angered the crowd listening to him.
- In the last part of the chapter, the Roman tribune realizes neither Paul’s speech nor the crowd’s anger will resolve anything. So the Roman commander decides to torture Paul until he speaks the full truth.
- The soldiers tie Paul up but before the centurion can start whipping him Paul points out that he is a Roman citizen and cannot be flogged until he has faced a trial. The centurion rushes to the tribune who, in turn, rushes to Paul to validate the information. The Romans are horrified since it would have been a crime to flog Paul (it was also a crime that they shackled him in the temple courtyard).
- Chapter 22 concludes with the tribune’s search for the truth as he schedules a meeting with the Sanhedrin (Jewish court), hoping they can shed light on the situation.