II. Acts 22:3-22 New Living Translation (NLT) vv.3-5..[59AD] 3 Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today.
Paul began his testimony before the Jews in Jerusalem by establishing his Jewish roots. He said I am a Jew born in what is now southern Turkey. Paul may have come to Jerusalem at sometime in his teens to study under Gamaliel. Gamaliel appears in Acts 5:33-42, where he advised moderation in responding to the apostles. Gamaliel was the most respected teacher of the day. Paul was carefully taught the Jewish laws and customs. Note that Paul said “our” laws to again indicate he was their brother. As a result Paul became very zealous in honoring God in everything he did just like all the Jews present that day.
4 And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. 5 The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.
Paul was so zealous that he persecuted the followers of the “Way”. Apparently the early disciples were called by this name. It may have come from John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” The high priest and the council can testify to the truth of my persecution. This includes his being the witness approving the stoning to death of Stephen which he refers to later in this testimony. The council gave Paul authority to go to Damascus and bring disciples back to Jerusalem to be punished.
Paul then known as Saul was well known to his Jewish brothers in Jerusalem.
Henry Luke 2/15/2018
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