Exegesis Of Acts 26:28, 29 -- By: Henry S. Burrage
BSac 31:123 (July 1874) p. 401
Exegesis Of Acts 26:28, 29
In our received English translation of these verses we have the following words: “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.” Luther’s translation is similar:1 “Agrippas aber sprach zu Paulo: Es fehlt nicht viel, du überredest mich, dass ich ein Christ würde. Paulus aber sprach: Ich wünschte vor Gott, es fehlte an viel oder an wenig, dass nicht allein du, sondern alle, die mich heute hören, solche würden, wie ich bin, ausgenommen diese Bande.” In our English translation of the scriptures, therefore, and also
BSac 31:123 (July 1874) p. 402
in Luther’s translation, we are taught that Agrippa, under the power of the truth presented by Paul, not merely trembled, as Felix had done, but that he was almost persuaded to own himself a disciple of Christ.
Accordingly, in the practical enforcement of the lesson that is here taught, Agrippa is generally represented by religious teachers as a type of a large class in every Christian community—the “almost Christians.” Thus Blunt, in his Lectures on the History of St. Paul,2 referring to this passage asks, “Have we no ‘almost Christians’ even in a Christian congregation? Alas, is not this rather the peculiar danger and sin of our times? There are few, very few, of the church-going portion of our community, who would for a moment think of contradicting any of the great truths of our holy religion; yet how many are there, of whom, while we may truly say, as St. Paul said of Agrippa, we know that they believe, historically, notionally believe, we do not know, we cannot even in Christian charity profess to hope, that they are fully persuaded to be Christians, to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as their all-sufficient and only Saviour, to be justified, sanctified, governed by him, to desire to live the life of faith on earth, that through his atoning merits, they may live the life of glory in heaven.” So, also, Gerok in his “Die Apostelgeschichte,”3 a course of expository lectures on the Acts of the Apostles: “O wie Yiele giebt’s heut noch solcher beinahe Christen, wie der reiche Jüngling einer war (Luc. 13) unci wie Agrippa einer für einen Augenblick wenigstens zu sein schcint. ‘Es fehlt nicht viel:’ o hütet euch, ihr Lieben, vor diesem gef ahrlichen Wort, bei dem eben doch meist zuletzt alles noch fehlt! Wie oft sind auch wir dem Himmelreich nahe gewesen: es ...
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