“SO I ALWAYS TAKE PAINS TO HAVE A CLEAR CONSCIENCE TOWARD BOTH GOD AND MAN” (ACTS 24:16)
Saint Paul as Prisoner and Ethical Societies
This essay examines how Paul, the prisoner, and his contribution to ethical societies are characterised in the Book of Acts (21:27–28:31). After some introductory matters, the author examines how Paul’s behaviour and words are portrayed in the circumstances surrounding his arrest and the first hearings in Jerusalem by Roman authorities and Jewish leaders. This is followed by an analysis of the portrayal of Paul during the Roman trials before Felix and Festus in Acts 24–26. The next section examines Paul’s behaviour during his sea -voyage to Rome and his stay there. According to this portrayal, Paul knows his rights as a Roman citizen and uses them wisely. He insists on proper legal procedure and ably defends himself by insisting on the facts, without escalating the situation. During a private conversation, he instructs a Roman official regarding righteousness and self-control and thus contributes to ethical society. The final section opens with hermeneutical reflections and seeks to bridge the gap to current social ethics.
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