Acts 6:11-14 An outright lie or an exaggeration

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
In Mark 14 Jesus is accused of saying he will destroy the Temple and build up anopther in three days. This is not an outright lie, simply a distortion or misunderstanding of what Jesus did say.

Essentially the best lie is a partial truth. :agree:

In Acts 6 Stephen is accused of saying Jesus will destroy the Second Temple (which was done through the Roman Empire) and that Jesus will alter the customs handed down from Moses (which he did in Acts 10 and Mark 7:19).

Essentially the Second Temple was to be destroyed and the customs (laws?) of Moses abrogated. So where is the lying? Is it the initial accusation of blasphemy or the saying this was Stephen's only sermon? :judge:
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
So ignoring the rabbit trails what was false?

What was the lie? Messianic Judaism would probably say that Moses laws have not changed so that was the untruth. I don't buy it. The food laws have definitely been changed according to Mark and Acts!

So what was false?
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
I am still chewing this over. It occurred to me to ask where Stephen got this teaching re: Second Temple. Then it dawned on me that it would be Daniel 9. This not only speaks of the Messiah as coming a specific time after the decree to construct of the Second Temple BUT speaks of the destruction of the Second Temple.

This passage would have allowed Stephen to predict the destruction of the Second Temple. In retrospect the destruction of the Second Temple should make the Jews realise that Messiah has already come. However as Daniel Grubber has pointed out Rabbinic authority has directed them away from this passage and "banned" it's study!
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Why does there have to be a lie?

Yeah, I'm confused about this too. Can you restate your question more clearly perhaps, Eoghan? The accusers misunderstood Stephen's words, and thereby accused him of blasphemy (not lying, actually).
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
"Then they secretely persuaded some men to say..." Acts 6:11
"They produced false witnesses, who testified..." Acts 6:13

What were they being persuaded to be false about (i.e. lie)
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
In both the verses you mention he is accused of blasphemy - of evil speaking against Moses and God (11) and the holy place and the law (13). So even if they quoted Stephen word for word, they were false witnesses because they were offering evidence of a charge that wasn't true.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
"Then they secretely persuaded some men to say..." Acts 6:11
"They produced false witnesses, who testified..." Acts 6:13

What were they being persuaded to be false about (i.e. lie)

I'm not sure I understand the confusion.

The "persuaded" people were persuaded to say that Stephen was blaspheming. He wasn't.
The "false witnesses" said falsely that Stephen was speaking against the law (he wasn't) against the temple (he wasn't).

I'm not trying to be flippant, but it seems fairly straightforward to me.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
I think Stephen was speaking against the law inasmuch as he was talking about the "customs handed down from Moses" the abbrogation of the ceremonial law is quite (?) clear. As for the speaking against the Temple - he probably expounded Daniel 6 which clearly (?) speaks of the destruction of the Temple. On both points he was "on the nail". I think it was making this out to be the only sermon that Stephen could preach that they "over-egg the pudding"!

I am coming to the view that the early Hellenistic church did both teach the abbrogation of the ceremonial law and the destruction of the Second Temple. This was however twisted out of context by the Jews.
 
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py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I don't know that those points are controversial, Eoghan. But saying "The Temple will be destroyed" is not speaking against the Temple, it's stating the truth and following in the footsteps of the prophets. Their failure to understand what it meant, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice' meant that they took as blasphemy what God gave as straight, significant fact. That's why I said above, that even if they quoted Stephen word for word, they still accused him falsely.

P.S. - I sent you a private message. Please look in your inbox.
 
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