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Bible Commentaries
Acts 22

Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy ScriptureOrchard's Catholic Commentary

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Verses 1-30

XXII 1-21 The Speech to the Jews of Jerusalem — St Paul tries to calm and win over his audience by showing his devotion to the Law before his conversion, his good relations with the Jews after it, and how wishing to preach to them, he only turned to the Gentiles after a vision. The speech is a masterpiece of apostolic tact, but the mention of Gentiles is too much for his audience.

1-16 Persecution and Conversion —1. The address is respectful like St Stephen’s, 7:2. ’Hear the defence’.

3. St Paul is a Hebrew of the Hebrews; see 21:21, Philippians 3:3-6; Galatians 1:13-14; ’zealous for God’, a trait which unites him with his hearers, Romans 10:2. On Gamaliel see 5:33. 5. See 9:2.

6. The conversion is described to show that St Paul was only obeying the call of God. 9. See 9:7.

12. The devotion of Ananias to the Law is emphasized.

14. On ’the Just One’ see 3:14. 16. The internal effect of baptism follows, once the external sign has been performed. It is accompanied by a profession of faith, the invocation of the name of the Just One; see 9:14.

17-21 The Call to the Gentiles —17. St Paul emphasizes how he was praying in the temple (on his first visit as a Christian, cf. 9:30 supra), and seems to avoid mentioning our Lord’s name.

19-20. He wished to preach to and save his own people, and thought his former zeal would convince them of his sincerity. 21. See note 9:15. Cf. 2:39.

22-29 The Roman Citizen and the Tribune —22. The idea that the Gentiles without becoming Jews could share their privileges aroused fury.

24. St Paul was taken into the Fortress for safety, and the Tribune, who had not understood the Aramaic speech, proposed to resort to the usual method of discovering the cause of the trouble.

25. St Paul draws attention to the twofold injustice. See 16:37. 28. Claudius Lysias was probably a Greek who had obtained his citizenship under Claudius and taken that emperor’s name. Claudius’ empress Messalina made a fortune out of the sale of this privilege, Dio Cassius, 60,17. It was rare at this period for a Jew to be born a citizen. St Paul’s family must have had some importance.

29. St Paul had been bound in order to be scourged, contrary to the Lex Porcia, and it had been proposed to torture him before trial, which was forbidden by a law of Augustus. He remained chained; cf. 30 and note on 24:23.

XXII 30-XXIII 10 St Paul before the Sanhedrin —30. Since the accusations deal with religion, in order to discover what they are the Tribune summons the Sanhedrin, which, so that he can be present, must meet outside the temple.

Bibliographical Information
Orchard, Bernard, "Commentary on Acts 22". Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/boc/acts-22.html. 1951.
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