Ananias (Acts 22:12)

“A certain Ananias

Was a devout man

According to the law,

Well-spoken of

By all the Jews

Who lived there.”

Ἀνανίας δέ τις ἀνὴρ εὐλαβὴς κατὰ τὸν νόμον, μαρτυρούμενος ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν κατοικούντων Ἰουδαίων,

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said that a certain Ananias (Ἀνανίας) was a devout man (δέ τις ἀνὴρ εὐλαβὴς) according to the law (κατὰ τὸν νόμον), well-spoken or witnessed (μαρτυρούμενος) by all the Jews who lived there (ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν κατοικούντων Ἰουδαίων).  There was a slight but major difference about what was said in chapter 9:10.  There Ananias was not only a well-respected Jewish person, but also a disciple of Jesus.  Paul neglected to mention that here.  “There was a disciple (Ἦν δέ τις μαθητὴς) in Damascus (ἐν Δαμασκῷ) named Ananias (ὀνόματι Ἀνανίας).”  In chapter 9, “The Lord (ὁ Κύριος) said to Ananias (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν) in a vision (ἐν ὁράματι).  ‘Ananias (Ἀνανία)!’”  There was no mention of a vision of Ananias here, but that would not be necessary before this predominantly Jewish audience.  Ananias responded with the common response of the Israelite prophets.  “Here I am! Lord!”  Here Paul’s speech has a shorter version of this, without any mention of a vision.  In fact, all the Jewish people living in Damascus liked Ananias, but there was no mention that he was also a disciple (Ἦν δέ τις μαθητὴς) in this speech before the Jerusalem Jews.  Paul’s speech in Acts, chapter 26, had nothing at all about Ananias.  Here Ananias seemed more like a pious Jew than a Christian disciple.  Do you know the difference between a pious Jew and a pious Christian?

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