The law and the prophets (Rom 3:21)

“But now,

Apart from the law,

The righteousness of God

Has been revealed

And is attested

By the law

And the prophets.”

Νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ πεφανέρωται, μαρτυρουμένη ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν,

Paul said that now, apart from the law (Νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου), the righteousness of God has (δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ) been disclosed or revealed (πεφανέρωται) and is attested (μαρτυρουμένη) by the law (ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου) and the prophets (καὶ τῶν προφητῶν).  Paul indicated that the righteousness of God has been testified to by the law and the prophets, completely apart from the law itself.  The revelation of God’s righteousness can now be found without the law alone, since the law and the prophets spoke about it.  Do you accept the Torah law and the prophets?

Paul speaks to the Jews in Rome

After Paul arrived in Rome, he spoke to the Jewish leaders there.  Paul explained to them that the Romans wanted to release him, but he appealed to Caesar.  Thus, he was bound in chains.  The Roman Jews had not heard any bad things about Paul.  However, they wanted to know about this Jewish sect of Christians.  Then Paul testified about Jesus.  Some were convinced by Paul, who cited the prophet Isaiah and the Holy Spirit about listening and seeing without understanding.  These Jewish leaders themselves did not understand.  Paul said that the gentiles would listen.  Thus, the Roman Jewish leaders departed.  Paul stayed two more years in Rome proclaiming the kingdom of God.  This is the end of adventures of Paul without any clear conclusion.

The island of Malta

They had landed on the island of Malta.  They lit a fire for everyone.  A viper attacked Paul, so that the natives thought that Paul was a murderer.  However, Paul was not harmed, so then they thought that he must be a god.  The friendly chief of the island, Publius, had a sick father that Paul cured.  Thus, many people came to be cured.  When they left the island, they received honors and provisions.

Paul heads to Rome

Paul was handed over to a centurion as they set sail for Asia Minor.  They landed at Sidon.  Then they sailed by the island of Cyprus and on to Myra, where they got on an Alexandrian ship.  They sailed by Crete on the way to Fair Havens, but the sailing was dangerous.  Paul said that they were in danger, but the centurion listened to the owner of the ship.  They wanted to go to Phoenix, so that they sailed along the coast of Crete.  However, they got caught in a northeastern wind.  Finally, they got control of the lifeboat.  They had a number of problems at sea, so that they threw overboard the cargo and the tackle.  They had lost hope.  Paul told them “I told you so”.  He said that there would be no loss of life because an angel had appeared to him to say that they would all be safe.  They just had to stay courageous. However, they ran aground on some island.  They were getting close to land in shallow water, so that they anchored the ship.  The sailors lowered the lifeboat but Paul told them to keep the sailors on board.  The soldiers cut the ropes of the lifeboat.  Then Paul told them to take some food since they had to survive.  Paul had some bread like Eucharistic bread.  They all took some food, since there were 276 people on board this ship.  They threw the wheat overboard as they headed for the beach in the bay, but they struck a reef.  The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners.  However, the centurion said that they should swim to land.  Thus, they all arrived safe on land.

Paul Makes His Defense Before King Herod Agrippa II

Paul was given permission to speak.  He was happy to defend himself before King Agrippa II.  He told them to listen to him.  They all knew how he had spent his life in Jerusalem.  Paul was a Pharisee.  He followed his ancestors and the promises made to the twelve tribes.  He said that God raised the dead.  He did many things against the name of Jesus.  He locked up the saints, punished them, and pursued them.  He was on his way to Damascus, when a light from heaven appeared.  A voice asked him why he was persecuting him.  Then the voice said that he was Jesus.  He was to get up on his feet and be rescued.  He was to open their eyes to the light.  Thus, Paul was not disobedient to this heavenly vision.  He went out and proclaimed repentance.  However, the Jews seized him.  Paul maintained that he was in line with the prophets and Moses, who had said that the Messiah Christ would suffer and rise from the dead.  Then Governor Festus called Paul insane.  Paul said he was telling the truth.  He said that King Agrippa II understood what he was talking about, since he believed in the prophets.  Was Paul trying to make King Agrippa II a Christian?  Paul wanted all of them to become Christians.  Then they all got up.  They all said that Paul had done nothing deserving death.  Thus, he could have been freed, if he had not appealed to Rome.

King Herold Agrippa II

King Herold Agrippa II arrived at Caesarea.  Governor Festus told King Agrippa II about Paul.  The Jerusalem Jews wanted Paul sentenced, but Festus said that the Roman custom of face to face accusations would be upheld.  Thus, Festus ordered a new trial.  Paul’s accusers did not charge him with normal crimes, instead Paul spoke about Jesus.  Festus asked if Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem.  However, he said no and appealed to the Emperor Caesar.

Porcius Festus and Paul

Governor Porcius Festus took over for Governor Felix.  He went to Jerusalem, where the Jewish leaders gave a report about Paul.  They wanted Paul sent to Jerusalem.  The new Governor was going to Caesarea, so that he invited Paul’s accusers to go with him to Caesarea, where he would have a trial for Paul.  They presented the charges against Paul, but Paul claimed he had done nothing wrong.  Governor Festus asked Paul if wanted to go to Jerusalem for a trial there.  Paul wanted to be tried by Caesar’s tribunal, so that he said that he appealed to Caesar.  Festus then said that Paul would go to the Emperor Caesar.

Paul’s defense

Paul made his defense.  He said that he went to worship at Jerusalem, not to cause any trouble.  Besides, they could not prove what they were saying. Paul said that he believed in the Law and the prophets as well as sharing a hope in the resurrection.  Paul had a clear conscience.  He had brought alms to Jerusalem.  He was praying in the Temple with a purification rite, when the Jews from Asia showed up.  Paul wanted them to tell Felix what crimes he had done.  Paul said that this whole dispute was about the resurrection of the dead.  Finally, Governor Felix adjourned the meeting.