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Bible Commentaries
Acts 26

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

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Verses 1-32

XXVI 1-23 St Paul’s Speech before Agrippa —His defence resembles that before the Jewish mob, ch 22, but adapted to the cultured audience. It too was interrupted. St Paul shows how the Gospel is the fulfilment of the OT, and that he had acted as a loyal Jew in becoming an apostle.

2-11 St Paul’s Jewish Faith —3. The Rabbis praised Agrippa for his knowledge of the Law.

4-5. See 21:21 and 22:3. St Paul’s youth was spent in Jerusalem, ’living according to the strictest party’.6. See 23:6.

8. His preaching was that the hope had been realized in Jesus, whose Resurrection proved that he was the Messias. ’Why should it be thought incredible among you’ who believe in the resurrection of the body, ’that God should rise the dead?’

10. On the saints see 9:13. ’I cast my vote against them’;cf. 7:59. 11. ’Often have I tried to force them into blasphemy’, KNT. It was Jesus they were to blaspheme. St Paul wishes to show how utterly he was changed by his vision.

12-18 His Conversion and Mandate —See 9:1-18.

16. The message which came through Ananias is attributed direct to its author, as so often in the OT. To mention Ananias served no purpose with this audience; the point to be made was that there had been a revelation from God.

17. How often Jesus delivered him from his own people and from the Gentiles! 18. cf.Isaiah 42:7, and Colossians 1:12-14. Justification by faith was learnt at once; see 9:4.

19-23 His Missionary Work, preaching what the Prophets foretold —19. ’I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision’. 20. Galatians 1:22 shows that the preaching in Judaea must have ’been on the second visit, 11:30. The Gentiles were to ’repent’ and do works worthy of ’repentance’.

21. The Jews attacked St Paul because he preached salvation to the Gentiles on the same terms as themselves.

22-23. His preaching is the fulfilment of the old Law which foretold our Lord’s sufferings (cf.Acts 3:18), his Resurrection (cf. 17:3) and that he would be the light, 13:47. Thus he is the Messias.

24-32 The Discussion with Festus and Agrippa —24. The references to the Resurrection and to light for the Gentiles seemed absurd to Festus; cf. 17:32. St Paul’s learning appeared in his quotations of the prophets, and perhaps Festus had noticed him reading constantly.

25. St Paul answered courteously.

26. The speech was meant for Agrippa, who would understand. Our Lord’s life, etc. were well known in Judaea, and elsewhere too, cf. 17:6. 27. Believing in the prophets, Agrippa must feel the force of St Paul’s proofs. 28. ’Thou persuadest me to be a Christian in a short time’ or ’with small effort’ Agrippa is the polite sceptic. Yet the sentence could be tr. ’Thou persuadest me to be a Christian in a short exposition’, as though Agrippa had really been moved. 29. ’In short or long time’ or ’with small or great effort’.32. Cf. 25:11.

Bibliographical Information
Orchard, Bernard, "Commentary on Acts 26". Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/boc/acts-26.html. 1951.
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