Acts Chapter 23
Click on the image below to watch the video (about 8.5 minutes). It contains an introduction, followed by the chapter read aloud from the ESV, then the questions. The questions are repeated below as well. Once you have finished, please share your thoughts with the wider HRCC community at HRCCActsStudy
Question & things to think about from chapter 23
 
1)   Paul is before the Sanhedrin. This is not, exactly, a trial but a fact-finding mission by the Roman tribune. Paul’s claim to have lived a blameless life is met with outrage and the high Priest, Ananias, has him struck in the mouth. Paul responds quite harshly, yet backs down when they point out who it is he is accusing. 
Did Paul really not recognise the high Priest?  

2)   Paul then notices that the assembled group consists of both Pharisees and Sadducees. Given that he had been a student of Gamaliel (a prominent member of the Sanhedrin), why might this have been surprising to him? Why might he have assumed that only one party would be there, and which one would that have been?
 
3)   Paul uses what he knows about the differences between these parties to start a major row in the chamber. Why? Is he hoping that the Pharisees would prevail and declare him innocent, or is he hoping that the confusion would end the proceedings (as it does)?
 
4)   The “Jews” now make a plot to kill Paul. Why would the Pharisees be involved? Is the term “Jew” here being used of all the people or just a faction, and if so, which faction? What is it about this group that makes such a general term applicable?

5)   Paul’s nephew hears of the plot and tells Paul. This is the only place we hear of either the nephew or Paul’s sister. The nephew appears to be quite young (from the terms used for him and the Tribune’s “taking him by the hand”), so how did he come to hear about it?

6)   The Tribune decides to send Paul to the governor, Felix. He gives him an armed guard and sends a letter explaining why he is sending him. Read over the letter. Does anything seem a bit odd? Do the facts, as stated by the Tribune, agree with the story we have read? If not, why not?