Saul goes to the high priest (Acts 9:1)



Still breathing


And murder

Against the disciples

Of the Lord,

Went to the high priest.”

Ὁ δὲ Σαῦλος ἔτι ἐμπνέων ἀπειλῆς καὶ φόνου εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς τοῦ Κυρίου, προσελθὼν τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ

The author of Acts indicated that meanwhile, Saul (Ὁ δὲ Σαῦλος), was still breathing (ἔτι ἐμπνέων) threats (ἀπειλῆς) and murder (καὶ φόνου) against the disciples of the Lord (εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς τοῦ Κυρίου).  Thus, he went (προσελθὼν) to the Jewish high priest (τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἐμπνέων, that means to breathe, to inhale, or breathe into.  Saul was really mad about these followers of Jesus after the stoning of Stephen earlier in this work, chapter 8:1.  He knew that nothing could be done without the permission of the high priest in Jerusalem.  Thus, he went to him.  Later in Acts, chapter 22:3-5, Saul explained this further.  “I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day.  I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness.”  In Acts, chapter 26:9-11, Saul was very clear.  “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  I did so in Jerusalem.  I not only shut up many of the saints in prison, by authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.  I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme.  In raging fury against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.”  There was no doubt that Saul opposed this new Jewish sect of Jesus followers.  Thus, there are three descriptions of the conversion of Saul in Acts, this one and the two later ones that were first hand explanations by Saul, with some minor differences between them.  First, Saul explained his conversion in an open-air discourse in Acts, chapter 22:1-21, and secondly, he defended himself before King Agrippa against the accusations of the Jerusalem Jews, after he had been imprisoned in Caesarea in Acts, chapter 26:9-18.  Here, Acts, chapter 9:1-30, it is a narrator’s description.  What do you know about the conversion of Saul?

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