6 “Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” (Acts 23:6–9 (ESV)
The Sadducees and the Pharisees emerged during the historical period between the Old Testament and the New Testament, often referred to as the 400 silent years. These two distinct groups had different political and religious views.
Sensing the potential conflict between the two diverse parties, Paul said, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” Paul took advantage of these religious differences and identified himself as a Pharisee and a believer in the resurrection of the dead. He knew this would create agitation among the Sadducees who denied a future bodily resurrection along with the existence of angels and spirits (Acts 4:1-2; Matthew 22:23-32).
Dissension did arise between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Consequently, the assembly was divided. The dissension was so great that there was shouting and screaming as each group verbally attacked each other.
Finally, some of the Pharisees strongly protested and publically stated that they found no fault with the Apostle Paul. They reasoned that maybe an angel or a spirit may have spoken to the apostle. These potential adversaries became Paul’s staunch defenders.
How would the Sadducees respond to these developments? We will continue our study tomorrow and discover the answer. I’m looking forward to it.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!