“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
King James Version (KJV)
23:1 And Paul earnestly beholding the council - Professing a clear conscience by his very countenance; and likewise waiting to see whether any of them was minded to ask him any question, said, I have lived in all good conscience before God till this day - He speaks chiefly of the time since he became a Christian. For none questioned him concerning what he had been before. And yet even in his unconverted state, although he was in an error, yet he had acted from conscience, before God - Whatever men may think or say of me.
Ac 23:1 Paul's Defense Before the Sanhedrin SUMMARY OF ACTS 23: The Insult of the High Priest. Paul's Rebuke. His Appeal to the Pharisees. Their Favor. The Dissension; Paul Removed. The Vision of the Lord in the Night. The Plot of the Sicarii. Revealed to the Chief Captain by Paul's Nephew. Paul Sent Under an Escort of Soldiers to Caesarea. The Letter of Claudius Lysias to Felix. Paul, earnestly beholding the council. Attentively studying his audience, and no doubt seeking whether there were old acquaintances among the members of the Sanhedrin. He probably knew at least a part of the body. Many years before he had been its trusted agent, to execute its orders against Christians; now he is on trial before it for being one of that body which it formerly employed him to destroy. They regarded him a renegade, much as out countrymen regard Benedict Arnold, and their hate was so vindictive that they were utterly unable to listen calmly to his defense. Hence, as soon as he began by declaring that he had acted "in all good conscience until this day", the high priest ordered that he be smitten in the mouth (Ac 23:2).