Paul and the Law (Acts 21)

21 they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. 22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. 25 But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment…

Once we become a Christian, that doesn’t mean that we completely throw out our past, we just allow God to remove those aspects of how we used to live that He chooses. Paul was a Jew, he was a Jew’s Jew. Paul can say with reference to the law he is a Pharisee speaking of his righteousness under the law, he is blameless. This interesting episode of these 4 young men taking a Nazarite vow, and Paul participating in this temple ritual, tells us that Paul continued to observe Old Testament rites and rituals. It is, however, important to note he didn’t do it out of obligation, nor did he prescribe this lifestyle for others. He did it so he would be free to share the gospel with Jews. Also, people with shaved heads area apparently more holy. 😉

About John Harris

χian, Jesus saves. μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, Pastor at Pleasant Heights, PhD (NT) candidate at Midwestern; forever Texan, μολὼν λαβέ; Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Allons-y
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