What does Acts 26:9 mean?
ESV: “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
NIV: I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
NASB: So I thought to myself that I had to act in strong opposition to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
CSB: In fact, I myself was convinced that it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
NLT: I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene.
KJV: I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Verse Commentary:
The Sanhedrin has a grudge against Paul, and he is explaining their reasons to King Agrippa II. They claim he started riots, defiled the temple, and leads a cult (Acts 24:5–6). In truth, they're upset he betrayed them by preaching that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 24:21).

Paul's words are an understatement, but he elaborates in the following verses. Paul was present at the murder of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:54–60), of which he approved. Immediately after, he volunteered to be the Sanhedrin's attack dog, first hunting Jesus-followers in Jerusalem, and then all over, as far as Damascus in Syria (Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–2). Paul goes on to say he punished them in the synagogues, he imprisoned them, and if they refused to deny Christ, he voted they be put to death (Acts 26:10–11).

This past gives Paul insight into the motivation of the Jewish leadership. Most Sanhedrin members are Sadducees. This sect does not believe in the resurrection of the dead: they're annihilationists. Yet they live and work with Pharisees, who do believe in the resurrection. Even so, the deeper issue isn't resurrection itself, but that Jesus rose from the dead. The Sanhedrin has ample evidence this occurred; the guards of the tomb came to them and told them what happened. Instead of listening, they bribed the guards to claim they fell asleep, which was a capital offense (Matthew 28:11–15). Jesus ascended to heaven from Mount Olivet, within sight of the temple (Acts 1:9–12). Many priests did accept Jesus' resurrection (Acts 6:7). Those who didn't have no excuse other than fear of losing their respected positions.

"Name" is from the Greek root word onoma. It doesn't merely mean the sounds or letters used to identify someone. It represents their character and reputation. In Jesus' case, His "name" means His sovereignty, power, authority, and deity. Paul's early zeal, as he would learn later, opposed His own God.
Verse Context:
Acts 26:1–11 contains Paul's account of his life before encountering Jesus Christ. He speaks to Governor Festus, King Agrippa II, and the military and civil leadership of Caesarea Maritima. Before conversion, Paul absorbed training as a devout Pharisee, including passionate devotion to the Mosaic law. His beliefs led him to zealously hunt Jesus-followers, even voting that they be executed if they did not deny Christ. Everything changed when he tracked Christians to Damascus.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 26 records Paul's testimony before the noblemen of Caesarea Maritima, as well as their reactions. He explains that Jewish leaders want him dead because he once persecuted the church, but now believes Jesus rose from the dead and has been spreading that message. Governor Festus thinks Paul has gone mad. King Agrippa II, however, finds his story compelling. They realize that had Paul not appealed to a higher Roman court, they could have let him go.
Chapter Context:
After being held in custody for two years and, again, hassled by the Sanhedrin who want to kill him, Paul appeals his case to Caesar (Acts 25:7–12). Before he travels to Rome, however, Governor Festus has Paul give his testimony before King Agrippa II and the noblemen of Caesarea Maritima (Act 25:23–27). When Paul is finished, they realize they should have set him free before he appealed to Caesar (Acts 26:30–32). But he must go to Rome, surviving a violent storm and a shipwreck along the way (Acts 27—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 4/13/2024 9:12:23 AM
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