Monday, May 16, 2005

A Letter From ThirtyWhat to the Corinthians ...

Tough Trivia from The Untimely Objection

Paul, founder of the modern Christian church, was constantly being arrested and persecuted in an attempt to silence his message. An attempt to assassinate him was leaked to his Roman tribune protector, who rushed Paul off to Caesarea. Paul was eventually sent off to Rome to have charges against him heard, but before that was done, he had a hearing before Felix, the legate in Caesarea. Name the advocate who argued that Paul should be condemned before Felix.

The short answer to this tough trivia is Tertullus - a Roman advocate, whom the Jews employed to state their case against Paul in the presence of Felix (Acts 24:1-9).

A longer (and more technical) answer explains that the charges he adduced against the apostle were, "First, that he created disturbances among the Romans throughout the empire, an offense against the Roman government (crimen majestatis). Secondly, that he was a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes; disturbed the Jews in the exercise of their religion, guaranteed by the state; introduced new gods, a thing prohibited by the Romans. And thirdly, that he attempted to profane the temple, a crime which the Jews were permitted to punish."

In layman's terms ... Paul was led in chains to the fortress of Antonia by the tribune, Lysias, after he was falsely accused of having brought Gentiles into the Temple. When Lysias learned that the Jews had conspired to assassinate Paul, he sent him under escort to Caesarea, which was the residence of the procurator Felix. Paul refused to bribe Felix and was therefore kept in chains for two years.

For more information, check out the book of Acts in the New Testament. Paul was a happening guy who had a lot of adventures ... only one of which was his trial in Caesarea.

They say I'm crazy but I have a good time
I'm just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Life's been good to me so far

Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good

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