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Was Paul a Pharisee a Sanhedrin or both?

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05/10/2007

Saul of Tarsus, later renamed Paul, was a member of the Pharisees, one of three groups almost akin to political parties in the USA. The Sanhedrin were a council of 71 leaders, including the high priest. The council was made up of both Pharisees and Saducees, and probably some Essenes; these form the three groups mentioned above. Acts 23:6 has Paul, arrested and on trial before the Sanhedrin, admitting that he is a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. The Bible doesn't explicitly say that he had been a member of the Sanhedrin, although his familiarity with the council shown in the same passage, along with the term "Brothers" used in 23:1-6, may imply that he had been a member. See the Related Links "ChristianAnswers: Sanhedrin," "ChristianAnswers: Pharisee," and "ChristianAnswers: Paul" to the right for more information.