New American Standard Bible
Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, "Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day."
King James Bible
And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
Darby Bible Translation
And Paul, fixing his eyes on the council, said, Brethren, I have walked in all good conscience with God unto this day.
World English Bible
Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, "Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day."
Young's Literal Translation
And Paul having earnestly beheld the sanhedrim, said, 'Men, brethren, I in all good conscience have lived to God unto this day;'
Acts 23:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And Paul, earnestly beholding - ἀτενίσας atenisas. Fixing his eyes intently on the council. The word denotes "a fixed and earnest gazing; a close observation." See Luke 4:20. Compare the notes on Acts 3:4. Paul would naturally look with a keen and attentive observation on the council. He was arraigned before them, and he would naturally observe the appearance, and endeavor to ascertain the character of his judges. Besides, it was by this council that he had been formerly commissioned to persecute the Christians, Acts 9:1-2. He had not seen them since that commission was given. He would naturally, therefore, regard them with an attentive eye. The result shows, also, that he looked at them to see what was the character of the men there assembled, and what was the proportion of Pharisees and Sadducees, Acts 23:6.
Men and brethren - Greek: "Men, brethren"; the usual form of beginning an address among the Jews. See Acts 2:29. He addressed them still as his brethren.
I have lived in all good conscience - I have conducted myself so as to maintain a good conscience. I have done what I believed to be right. This was a bold declaration, after the tumult, and charges, and accusations of the previous day Acts 22; and yet it was strictly true. His persecutions of the Christians had been conducted conscientiously, Acts 26:9, "I verily thought with myself," says he, "that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth." Of his conscientiousness and fidelity in their service they could bear witness. Of his conscientiousness since, he could make a similar declaration. He doubtless meant to say that as he had been conscientious in persecution, so he had been in his conversion and in his subsequent course. And as they knew that his former life had been with a good conscience, they ought to presume that he had maintained the same character still. This was a remarkably bold appeal to be made by an accused man, and it shows the strong consciousness which Paul had of his innocence. What would have been the drift of his discourse in proving this we can only Conjecture. He was interrupted Acts 23:2; but there can be no doubt that he would have pursued such a course of argument as would tend to establish his innocence.
Before God - Greek: to God - τῷ Θεῷ tō Theō. He had lived to God, or with reference to his commands, so as to keep a conscience pure in his sight. The same principle of conduct he states more at length in Acts 24:16; "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men."
Until this day - Including the time before his conversion to Christianity, and after. In both conditions he was conscientious; in one, conscientious in persecution and error, though he deemed it to be right; in the other, conscientious in the truth. The mere fact that a man is conscientious does not prove that he is right or innocent. See the note on John 16:2.
LibraryThe Witness of Our Own Spirit
"This is our rejoicing, the testimony of out conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world." 2 Cor. 1:12 1. Such is the voice of every true believer in Christ, so long as he abides in faith and love. "He that followeth me," saith our Lord, "walketh not in darkness:" And while he hath the light, he rejoiceth therein. As he hath "received the Lord Jesus Christ," so he walketh in him; and while he walketh …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
Whether Discord is a Sin?
The Life and Death of Mr. Badman,
How Sowers of Strifes and Peacemakers are to be Admonished.
"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished.
But on the next day, wishing to know for certain why he had been accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Council to assemble, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!"
"Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place."
And he said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him.
"And wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Council;
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