Saul has authority from the Jerusalem high priests (Acts 9:14)


Saul has authority

From the chief priests

To bind all

Who invoke

Your name.”

καὶ ὧδε ἔχει ἐξουσίαν παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων δῆσαι πάντας τοὺς ἐπικαλουμένους τὸ ὄνομά σου.

The author of Acts indicated that Ananias continued that Saul had the authority here (καὶ ὧδε ἔχει ἐξουσίαν) in Damascus from the chief priests (παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων) in Jerusalem to bind (δῆσαι) all who invoked (πάντας τοὺς ἐπικαλουμένους) the name of Jesus (τὸ ὄνομά σου).  Once again, this vision of Ananias was only found here and not in the later personal speeches of Saul about his conversion in chapters 22 and 26.  Ananias reminded the Lord Jesus about Saul as indicated earlier in this chapter 9:1-2.  “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).  He asked (ᾐτήσατο παρ’) the high priest for letters (αὐτοῦ ἐπιστολὰς) to the synagogues (πρὸς τὰς συναγωγάς,) at Damascus (εἰς Δαμασκὸν).  Thus, if he found anyone (ὅπως ἐάν τινας εὕρῃ) who belonged to the Way (τῆς Ὁδοῦ ὄντας), both men (ἄνδρας τε) and women (καὶ γυναῖκας), he might bring them (ἀγάγῃ) bound (δεδεμένους) back to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).”  Saul was really mad about these followers of Jesus.  He knew that nothing could be done without the permission of the high priest in Jerusalem.  Thus, he went to him with a specific request.  He wanted letters from the high priest in Jerusalem to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any of these heretics, he could bring them back to Jerusalem for a Sanhedrin hearing.  The term Way (Ὁδοῦ) was the name of the Christian movement which was considered a heretical sect of the Judaism.  Ananias was only repeating what he had heard that Saul was a dangerous person with this attitude towards the early Christians.  Ananias was reluctant to go, since he had heard that Saul was there to arrest those who invoked the name of Jesus.  Have you ever been afraid of people looking to arrest you?

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