Slide 1

12:1-17: Peter’s Deliverance

Slide 2

Herod Agrippa (12:1)

-       Brother of Herodius

-       Party buddy of Gaius Caligula

-       Thus 1st official Jewish “king” since his grandfather Herod the Great

-       His grandmother Mariamne a Hasmonean princess

-    Jewish as well as Idumean

-     Very popular with the people

-     Eager to please, threw money around

-     Emphasized Judean identity (as Roman in Rome)

-     Pro- Pharisaic and frequented the Temple

Slide 3

Beheading (12:2)

Like Jn Bapt (Lk 9:9)

Sword in this period

More merciful, esp. for Roman citizens

King held ius gladiis- power of life and death (unlike Sanhedrin)

What do we do when tragedy strikes?

Slide 4


“Feast of Unleavened Bread”:

-       Time of Jesus’ execution (Lk 22:7)

-       Agrippa sometimes executed people for public entertainment

Agrippa gave generously to gentiles outside Judea

But policies more popular with his Jewish subjects

-       Catered to their majority whims

-       His soldiers in Caesarea hated him

Slide 5



-       Agrippa 1 resided in Jerusalem

-       Place of imprisonment: maybe fortress Antonia- near Upper City


-       4 soldiers each on 4 shifts

12: 6

-       each chain tied Peter to soldier

Slide 6


Prisons didn’t supply clothes

Outer cloak could be used as blanket

Agrippa wielded much more direct power than Sanhedrin; his guards more efficient

(Eurip.) Dionysus made chains drop off and locked doors again

-       doors opening “by themselves”: from Homer to Josephus

Slide 7

Upper City, like Antonia (12:12-13)

From Antonia fortress, straight route to Upper City

Outer gate, servant girl/porter

Barnabas’s relatives: cf. Col 4:10 with Acts 4:36-37

As Levites (4:36)

-       maybe ties with priestly aristocracy?

-       Many well-to-do priests lived in Upper City

Homes rather than church buildings for 1st 3 cent’s of church’s existence (Rom 16:5, etc)

-       As with some poorer synagogues

-       Jerusalem megachurch (earlier), but elsewhere only homes

“Mark”: Latin name, hence prob. more favorable to Rome

“Mary”: most common women’s name in Judea, Galilee

“Rhoda”: Rose

-       Common servant name

-       Sexual harassment of slaves- but not Mary

Slide 8

12: 14-16

Learning faith by God’s grace (He answers our prayers anyway)

James had been executed, possibly in spite of their prayers

But note purpose for prayer meeting (12:5)

Their surprise:

-       Disbelieved Rhoda, like women at tomb

-       “It’s his ghost!” (like Lk 24)

-       His angel:

. Some popular trad’s like angels after death

. but angel had just delivered him

-       Peter himself: a vision

-       Peter pounding on gate- neighbor’s porters?

Slide 9



-       Lit. “Jacob”

-       Common Jewish name

-       Not James of 12:2

-       James of 15:13; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 2:9- Jesus’ brother

Highly reputed for devoutness

When martyred, people of Jerusalem protested

Prob. safe from Agrippa (12:1-3)

Slide 10

12: 18,19

Arrogant Agrippa condemns others, accepts worship, is damned

-       Examined for information: perhaps under torture

-       Executes the four

-       Under Roman law, a guard whose death- penalty prisoner escaped would pay for it with his own lie (cf. 16:27, 27:42)


Tyre, Sidon: depended on imports for food

Slide 11

12: 21 Agrippa 1 like to flaunt his power

royal robes: also noted by Josephus

self-display led to anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria

Josephus: this scene in theater of Caesarea

-       Built by his grandfather Herod the Great

-       Foundations of this theater still remain today

-       On Emperor’s birthday

Slide 12

12: 22-24 Josephus: Agrippa flaunted his power

-       Flatterers praised him as a god- common in Greek East

-       Friend of Gaius Caligula

-       Even Germanicus, others, expected deflect such praise

-       Josephus: immediately collapsed

-       Died at age of 54, after 5 days of stomach pains

-       Deaths from bowel diseases and worms: horrible (tyrants)

Slide 13


Antioch Sends Out Missionaries

Despite 1:8, Judean apostles still in Jerusalem (15:6)

Antioch’s success in Gentile mission (11:19-26)

Slide 14


journey roughly 400 miles

customary for ancient teachers to take disciples with them

safer to travel in groups

customary to talk of Torah when traveling

Slide 15

13:1 Overseers

-       Overseers: prophets and teachers

Simeon and Manaen (=Menahem): Jewish names

-       Simeon’s surname “Niger”

-       Respectable Roman name; maybe Roman citizen

-       Nickname: “Black”

Lucius: Cyrene’s large Jewish population (maybe ¼)

-       But geographic diversity

Slide 16



-       To mourn or repent

-       Some, for revelations

-       Here, seeking God in prayer

HS esp.= Spirit of prophecy

-       Prob. one of prophets prophesied

Sent them: probably paid fare (one way)

Slide 17

13:4-12 The Proconsul of Cyprus Believes

-       Customary for messengers to travel by twos

-       Students of Torah preferred having companions to study with

-       Roman roads good and generally safe during the day

-       Travel easier than ever before or again till close to modern period


Seleucia: Antioch’s port city

-       15 mi (24 km) to W.

-       wealthy, merchant city, strong fortifications

Cyprus: Barnabas knew (4:36)

-       60 miles (95km) by sea from Seleucia

Slide 18

Salamis (13:5)

Probably over 100,000

Large Jewish comm., prob. several synag’s

-       visiting teachers skilled in Torah asked to speak in local synagogues

Did Paul speak in synagogues? (Rom 11; 2 Cor 11)

-       in early 2d cent. Cypriot Jewish community attacked Salamis

-       Jewish community obliterated

Slide 19


probably took newer S. road- shorter than N.

cities en route: Citium, Amathus and Curium

New Paphos:

-       Greek harbor town on N & W of Cyprus

-       Provincial capital

-       Maintained some trade relations with Judea

-       Famous Aphrodite shrine; old Paphos, 7 mi (11 km) SE

Slide 20

Jewish magicians

-       Thought among best in Roman Empire

-       Forbidden in Scripture and mistrusted among pious Jews!

-       Roman aristocrats often attached philosophers to their court

-       Later Felix befriended a Jewish magician from Cyprus

-       Sergius attracted to E. ?

Slide 21


Sergius Paulus:

Proconsul of Cyprus c. AD 45-46

As always, Lk has correct specific local title of official

Sergius Paulus family: Romans in region where they go next


Saul= Paul:

-       Roman citizens had 3 names

-       Roman cognomen (“Paul,” meaning “small”)

-       Roman name sounded similar to his Jewish name (common)

-       Now in predominantly Roman environment

. Thus Roman name

Slide 22


Power encounter

Temporary blindness—Paul understood value (cf. 9:8)

Slide 23

Power encounters

E.g., Emmanuel


Slide 24

Unexpected encounters

Slide 25

Dr. Rodney Ragwan

Kisten Ragwan (Indian Baptist in Durban)

Man warned that he would send a spirit that night to show his power, around midnight

Slide 26

Family praying, fasting

C. 11:45, and for 20 minutes, they heard massive steps around house

Rodney’s father remembers well

Man admitted next day- his spirits could not get in

Slide 27

Many spirit- practitioners converted through power encounters

Indonesia, Philippines, southern Africa, etc.

Slide 28

Tandi Randa, Indonesia

Unharmed by witchcraft attacks to kill others

Everyone expected him to die, but experienced no harm

The witchcraft worker repented and accepted Christ

Slide 29

Burning the witchcraft items:

After he touched the witchcraft items to burn them, people expected him to die (photo from a different meeting)

12 years later, he remains well

Slide 30

13:13-41: Sermon in Pisidian Antioch

Slide 31

Cities visited from 13:13-14:26:

-       All along Via Augusta

-       Built ½ a century before


Probably landed at Attalia; the main harbor

By road to Perga, 10 miles (16km) N

-       Perga 5 miles from even possibly navigable water

-       “in Pamphylia”: part of Pamphylia-Lycia in this period (AD 43-c.68)

Then probably NE along via Sebaste (Augustus Highway)

Slide 32

Anitoch near Pisidia (13:14)

Roman “colony”

-       5000 “colonists” plus others

Worshiped Men; biggest temple: for emperor

Much smaller than coastal cities

But if Sergius Paulus supplied letters of recommendation…

Regular Jewish public gatherings normally only on Sabbath and feast day

Slide 33


Readings (especially from Torah) fixed (maybe later)

Synagogue sermon: homily on texts read

“Rulers of the synagogue”:

-       often honorary

-       but often: highest officials of synagogues (inscriptions)


Diaspora: speaker would stand (vs. Jesus in Matt 5:1)

Scripture-laced exposition in 13:16-43 vs 14:15-17, 17:22-31

Paul adapted to different audiences in his speeches as in his letters

Last modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 5:42 PM