Was King Agrippa Partially Convinced Or Being Sarcastic?

A querist asks, In Acts 26:28 KJV, was Agrippa partially convinced or was he being sarcastic? The Greek in question is “en oligos” (Strong's 3641). Some translate this as “in a short time” while others translate this as “almost.”

Looking at Acts 26:28 in the American Standard Version – 1901 and from the below sources, this writer is convinced that Agrippa was at least partially convinced of becoming a Christian. The American Standard Version of 1901 renders the text in Acts 26:28 ASV as: “And Agrippa said unto Paul, With but little persuasion thou wouldest fain make me a Christian.” A footnote reads, “Or, In a little time thou….“

There were obvious outside influences that effected King Agrippa’s decision in not rendering obedience to the gospel of Christ. However, what those influences were would be sheer speculation. In his commentary, Albert Barnes lists some possibilities.

Regarding Acts 26:28, Brother Wayne Jackson makes the following comments in his article, entitled, “Who Is A Christian?“:

Later when pressed with evidence for the validity of the Christian system, Herod Agrippa II said: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28 KJV). The King James Version suggests a man who is wrestling with his conscience. Others feel that the ruler’s remark is cynical: “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (NIV). Perhaps the truth is somewhere between the two. The king’s comment may reflect a respectful evasion.

No matter what King Agrippa’s intent or attitude was in his response to Paul, one thing is clear. Paul desired that not only Agrippa, but all men become Christians as he was “except these bonds” (Acts 26:29). Let this be our consuming desire as well, doing what Matthew 28:19-20 directs us to do.

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

Additional Commentaries: