text size

Top comments

{{ annotation.praises_count }} Likes
{{ annotation.creator_alias }}
{{ annotation.creator_score }}

There are no comments yet. Be the first to start comment or request an explanation.

1 And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden. 4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. 6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again. 7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. 8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. 10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done. 15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem. 16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge. 17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. 22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. 23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. 25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. 27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, 28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. 29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) 30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. 31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul. 33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. 34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. 35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. 36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him. 37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? 38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers? 39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. 40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

read all comments

1 Deena E = "Jerusalem--the city that kills the prophetsIn Luke 13:34 Jesus is quoted saying how Jerusalem is the city that kills the Lord's prophets. It's interesting how Paul is urged not to go back because of a vision of them binding him up there."
2 Sarah R = "Paul states that he is ready to face persecution, arrest, and even death for the sake of Christ. This is true devotion. He suffered much for Christ:24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiledand have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked (2 Corinthians 11:24-27).And eventually, he was killed, all because he believed in the resurrected Jesus Christ and would not forsake His name.For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)."
3 Sarah R = "Why did Jewish believers still follow Old Testament customs?The Law of Moses guided Jewish Christians in their social and family lives. They didn't shed their cultural practices when they followed Christ. Looking to the law, then, to order their lives would have been natural, not just to confirm its fulfillment in Christ but to structure society as well. Their Jewish customs were not quickly dismissed.- The Quest Study Bible NIV"
4 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "We can see that Paul did not consider the death of Jesus to have been a "final atonement" as he continued to offer sacrifices in the Temple after his conversion. In addition, these "Christians" who were also Jews took a Nazirite vow which required a "sin" offering.Numbers 6:13 - Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the period of their dedication is over. They are to be brought to the entrance to the tent of meeting. There they are to present their offerings to the Lord: a year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a fellowship offering, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and a basket of bread made with the finest flour and without yeast—thick loaves with olive oil mixed in, and thin loaves brushed with olive oil. ‘The priest is to present all these before the Lord and make the sin offering and the burnt offering. He is to present the basket of unleavened bread and is to sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to the Lord, together with its grain offering and drink offering.‘Then at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the Nazirite must shave off the hair that symbolizes their dedication. They are to take the hair and put it in the fire that is under the sacrifice of the fellowship offering.If Jesus was the final atonement, why did the early church continue to offer animal sacrifices in the temple for sin? The answer is obvious, the early church never saw the Messiah's death as a perpetual atonement sacrifice and recognized that as long as the temple was still standing, they were required to offer animal sacrifices for the expiation of sin. Only in later years did Christianity evolve to attribute Jesus as the final sacrifice but this concept never existed in Judaism and as we can plainly see was also never followed by the founder of modern day Christianity, Paul."
5 Sarah R = "Actually, that's not what's happening here. Paul is clear in his letters that Jesus is the final atonement (Rom 5:6-11; 2 Cor 5:14-15; Gal 3:14; 1 Tim 2:3-6, 4:10; among others) as are the other disciples and New Testament writers (eg Heb 10:1-18; 1 Pt 2:24; 1 Jn 2:2). So why does he go through this rite and the offering?The answer is clear in the text. Paul is under fire from traditional Jews (v. 20) for 1) reaching out to the Gentiles with the gospel and not requiring them to convert to Judaism, and 2) teaching the Jews to abandon the law (which is not exactly what he was teaching, but it's what they had heard, see v. 21). Therefore, Paul, who had lived his whole life following the Mosaic law, goes through a purification ceremony and vow in order to present himself to the Jews and make his case. We see his case starting in the next chapter. Paul explains this in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, "19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.""
6 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Actually, that is exactly what's happening here. The Jews shaved their heads upon completion of the "Nazarite" vow of abstention. The completion of the vow requires a sin offering in the Temple. Paul should have told the Jews that once they accepted Jesus as God, they no longer had to offer sin offerings but that's not what he did. He went with them to the Temple to offer a sin sacrifice, not a "thanksgiving" sacrifice but a sin offering. If Paul says that to the Jew he comes as a Jew and to the Gentile he comes as a Gentile he's quite frankly a liar and deceiver. Only a person who tries to deceive others like a wolf in sheep's clothing pretends to be all things to all people. To win the weak Paul pretends to be weak, to win the strong he pretends to be strong. This is called deception and it appears to be very common practice with Christian missionaries, plain and simple. The ends never justify the means, how we get there is more important than the destination."
7 Sarah R = "Perhaps it would help to explain it another way. In Acts 16 we meet a young man named Timothy. Timothy's mother was Jewish, and he learned the Jewish faith from her and his grandmother from the time he was small (2 Tim 1:5). However, Timothy's father was a Greek and so he was never circumcised. Paul, impressed by Timothy's faith, wanted to take him along on his missionary journey. But first, he had Timothy circumcised "because of the Jews in that area" (Acts 16:3).Paul says in 1 Cor 7:19, "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing" and in Gal 5:6 "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value." So does that make Paul a liar and a deceiver? No. It makes him culturally sensitive. He knew that if Timothy remained uncircumcised it would close doors and prevent people from listening to the message of Jesus Christ. So, even though it meant nothing to him, or to Timothy, they decided that it was best.The same principle is in effect here. To Paul, offerings and purification rituals no longer meant something. He didn't go through this ritual for himself, but for those he was trying to reach. He didn't want them to reject his message before hearing it simply because he had spent time among the Gentiles and uncircumcised and would be considered "unclean". We have to realize that the events of Acts 21 happen after Paul's third missionary journey, which places us around AD 58. By this time Paul had already written 1 & 2 Corinthians (as well as 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Romans, and most likely Galatians). So the words about Jesus as our final atonement were not from later - they were from the same time period. Though it is possible that Paul made a mistake here, seeing as he is only human, I don't believe so. I think he did what he thought was best in order to be able to reach his audience.This is the only instance in the NT where we see a possible sacrifice after the death and resurrection of Jesus. While the early Jewish believers did still attend synagogue and participate in Jewish customs, there is no evidence that they continued with sacrifices.And while I agree that the 'ends don't justify the means,' I think the destination is highly important. If you are trying to get to Hawaii, for example, even if the flight is perfect and the service is excellent if you end up in Taiwan you'd be pretty upset. "