Slide 1



-       Cos, Rhodes: important Aegean islands

-       Patara: S. Asia Minor port; grain trade



-       Lk 10:13-14: in the judgment

-       Ac 12:20: trouble with Herod- but not God’s people

Ptolemais (21:7): 30 mi/ 48 km) past Tyre

Stayed with believers- movement had spread!

Slide 2


21:4: Through the spirit

-       Cf. Jn Bapt in Lk 7:18-20

-       Cf. 2 Kgs 2:3, 5, 16

Philip’s four daughters (21:9) w/ Agabus

-       Acts 2:17-18: women, young (maybe c. 12-14?)

Agabus’s prophetic action (21:11)

-       Wording not precise (but so some OT prophecies)

Slide 3

Attempts at conciliation (21:20-26)

Rom 15: collection as mission of reconciliation


-       Zealous for the law

-       Judean nationalism since Agrippa 1 (10-15 years earlier)

Rumors about Paul

-       Cf. Caesar when not in Rome

-       Paul notes slanders (Rom 3:8; 2 Cor 6:8)

Supporting Nazirites pious

Slide 4

The newest riot (21:27-29)

Jews from Asia (split their synagogue, 19:8-9)

Accusation: brought Greeks into temple

Accusers recognized Trophimus from Ephesus

Church in Ephesus area would understand why Paul wrote from Roman custody

Slide 5

Paul’s teaching: Building One new Temple in Christ

Ephesians 2:11-22

Slide 6

This passage emphasizes Gentiles welcomed into God’s people.

-       Paul elsewhere emphasizes how Jew and Gentile come together on the same terms (Romans)

-       Paul challenged Peter publicly at a segregated lunch counter (Gal.2)

-       Jesus spoke of a new temple better than Jewish and Samaritan holy sites (Jn 4)

Slide 7

The Old Testament Temple did not segregate Gentiles from Jews

-       The innermost court was for YHWH alone

-       Next was the sanctuary for the priests

-       Outside both was the outer court for all

-       Solomon prayed for Gentiles to feel welcome

Slide 8

But due to purity regulations, Herod’s Temple segregated them

-       The outer court now was divided into the Court of Israel (for Jewish men)

-       The court of (Jewish) Women (on a lower level)

-       Outside it was the court for the Gentiles

Slide 9

In Acts 21, some Ephesian Jews saw Paul exiting the Temple.

In Acts 19, he split their synagogue

He also was the occasion for a riot in Ephesus that they got blamed for

Now they’d seen him in Jerusalem with Trophimus, an Ephesian Gentile

SO THEY started a riot, accusing Paul of having brought this Gentile past that dividing wall in the Temple.

Slide 10

Paul preached to them

He preached in Aramaic and found plenty of cultural common ground

They listened nicely to his testimony about Jesus—he could’ve given an altar call

But he wouldn’t leave out his call to the Gentiles

SO: the riot started up again, and Paul went to jail.

Slide 11

Paul now writes this letter to Ephesus from detention in Rome

He was held two years in Caesarea, then shipped off to Rome

Trophimus was from the Ephesus area, as were Paul’s accusers

Ephesians was probably circulated beyond Ephesus, but that was probably the center of its audience

Ephesian Christians knew why Paul was writing to them from prison

Slide 12

For Paul and for his readers there could be no greater symbol of the division between Jew and Gentile than this dividing wall in the Temple

And Paul declares that it has been shattered by Jesus Christ!

2:14: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”

Slide 13

This was in the days before it was popular in any circles to discuss ethnic reconciliation.

Paul runs around declaring, “In Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Gentile”

A few years later Jews and Syrians are massacring each other in the streets of Caesarea

A decade later the Romans destroyed Jerusalem’s temple and enslaved its survivors

Slide 14

Paul goes to speak of a new temple… (Eph 2:21-22)

In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit

Jesus had promised the destruction of the old temple—why?

Slide 15

Dragged into outer court, gates shut

-       Avoid desecrating temple with his blood


-       The one automatic death penalty was violating temple

Ironically, Rome’s soldiers inadvertently rescue Paul

-       Fortress Antonia overlooked outer court

-       Stairs led into outer court

Crowd confused:

-       Paul as Egyptian false prophet

-       Paul as one of the Sicarii (Assassins)

As in Acts 19, mob is confused

Slide 16

Acts 21:37-40

Greek widespread

-       But Egyptian Jews not “good” Greek

. Think: Parisian French; British English

-       Paul spent time in Greece

Sicarii: assassins (daggers under cloaks)


-       Messianic movements

-       Attempts at new exodus

City pride


-       Speaks in Aramaic equally well (22:3)

-       Born in Tarsus, reared in Jerusalem

Slide 17

Born in Tarsus, brought up (22:3)


-       University center

-       But many Tarsians did advanced education abroad

-       Paul’s advanced study in Scripture (LXX)

“Brought up”: probably most of his youth in Jerusalem (thus Aramaic)

At Gamaliel’s feet

-       Proper posture for disciple) Lk 10:39

-       Most elite Pharisee; also Greek learning

-       “zealous” for law: cf. Phineas, Maccabees, Zealots

Slide 18

Final quarter of Acts: Paul in custody

Why so detailed?

-       Luke is present as witness

-       Apologetic for Paul, climaxing Luke-Acts

-       Chains, custody: shameful

-       As “father” of Gentile mission, Paul’s “guilt” reflects on Diaspora churches

-       Already in Phil 1, 2 Tim 1: some wanted to dissociate from him

-       Acts to vindicate Paul

-       Value for us: legal, historical, other apologetic is important

Slide 19

Ways to acquire Roman citizenship (22:27-28)

Born to Roman parents (Paul)

Reward to groups or individuals, often municipal officers

Military service

Manumission—very common (Paul’s ancestors)

Bribe (Lysias)

-       Common early in Claudius’ reign

-       Thus “Claudius Lysias”

-       Got cheaper over time- ? hopes Paul got his cheaply

Last modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 11:14 AM