23:1 Paul looked directly 1 at the council 2 and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience 3 before God to this day.” 23:2 At that 4 the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near 5 Paul 6 to strike 7 him on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! 8 Do 9 you sit there judging me according to the law, 10 and in violation of the law 11 you order me to be struck?” 23:4 Those standing near him 12 said, “Do you dare insult 13 God’s high priest?” 23:5 Paul replied, 14 “I did not realize, 15 brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’” 16
23:6 Then when Paul noticed 17 that part of them were Sadducees 18 and the others Pharisees, 19 he shouted out in the council, 20 “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection 21 of the dead!” 23:7 When he said this, 22 an argument 23 began 24 between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 23:8 (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 25 23:9 There was a great commotion, 26 and some experts in the law 27 from the party of the Pharisees stood up 28 and protested strongly, 29 “We find nothing wrong 30 with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 23:10 When the argument became 31 so great the commanding officer 32 feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, 33 he ordered the detachment 34 to go down, take him away from them by force, 35 and bring him into the barracks. 36
23:12 When morning came, 43 the Jews formed 44 a conspiracy 45 and bound themselves with an oath 46 not to eat or drink anything 47 until they had killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 48 23:14 They 49 went 50 to the chief priests 51 and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 52 not to partake 53 of anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council 54 request the commanding officer 55 to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 56 his case 57 by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 58 We are ready to kill him 59 before he comes near this place.” 60
23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 61 he came and entered 62 the barracks 63 and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called 64 one of the centurions 65 and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 66 for he has something to report to him.” 23:18 So the centurion 67 took him and brought him to the commanding officer 68 and said, “The prisoner Paul called 69 me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 23:19 The commanding officer 70 took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 71 to report to me?” 23:20 He replied, 72 “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 73 tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 74 because more than forty of them 75 are lying in ambush 76 for him. They 77 have bound themselves with an oath 78 not to eat or drink anything 79 until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 80 23:22 Then the commanding officer 81 sent the young man away, directing him, 82 “Tell no one that you have reported 83 these things to me.” 23:23 Then 84 he summoned 85 two of the centurions 86 and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 87 along with seventy horsemen 88 and two hundred spearmen 89 by 90 nine o’clock tonight, 91 23:24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 92 so that he may be brought safely to Felix 93 the governor.” 94 23:25 He wrote 95 a letter that went like this: 96
23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 97 Felix, 98 greetings. 23:27 This man was seized 99 by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 100 when I came up 101 with the detachment 102 and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 103 a Roman citizen. 104 23:28 Since I wanted to know 105 what charge they were accusing him of, 106 I brought him down to their council. 107 23:29 I found he 108 was accused with reference to controversial questions 109 about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 110 23:30 When I was informed 111 there would be a plot 112 against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 113 against him before you.
23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, 114 took 115 Paul and brought him to Antipatris 116 during the night. 23:32 The next day they let 117 the horsemen 118 go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 119 23:33 When the horsemen 120 came to Caesarea 121 and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented 122 Paul to him. 23:34 When the governor 123 had read 124 the letter, 125 he asked 126 what province he was from. 127 When he learned 128 that he was from Cilicia, 129 23:35 he said, “I will give you a hearing 130 when your accusers arrive too.” Then 131 he ordered that Paul 132 be kept under guard in Herod’s palace. 133
1 tn Grk “Paul, looking directly at the council, said.” The participle ἀτενίσας (atenisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
2 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
4 tn Grk “and” (δέ, de); the phrase “at that” has been used in the translation to clarify the cause and effect relationship.
6 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Or “hit” (‘strike’ maintains the wordplay with the following verse). The action was probably designed to indicate a rejection of Paul’s claim to a clear conscience in the previous verse.
8 sn You whitewashed wall. This was an idiom for hypocrisy – just as the wall was painted on the outside but something different on the inside, so this person was not what he appeared or pretended to be (L&N 88.234; see also BDAG 1010 s.v. τοῖχος). Paul was claiming that the man’s response was two-faced (Ezek 13:10-16; Matt 23:27-28). See also Deut 28:22.
9 tn Grk “And do.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
10 tn The law refers to the law of Moses.
sn In violation of the law. Paul was claiming that punishment was given before the examination was complete (m. Sanhedrin 3:6-8). Luke’s noting of this detail shows how quickly the leadership moved to react against Paul.
12 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
13 tn L&N 33.393 has for λοιδορέω (loidorew) “to speak in a highly insulting manner – ‘to slander, to insult strongly, slander, insult.’”
14 tn Grk “said.”
15 tn Or “know.”
20 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
21 tn That is, concerning the hope that the dead will be resurrected. Grk “concerning the hope and resurrection.” BDAG 320 s.v. ἐλπίς 1.b.α states, “Of Israel’s messianic hope Ac 23:6 (ἐ. καὶ ἀνάστασις for ἐ. τῆς ἀν. [obj. gen] as 2 Macc 3:29 ἐ. καὶ σωτηρία).” With an objective genitive construction, the resurrection of the dead would be the “object” of the hope.
22 tn The participle εἰπόντος (eiponto") has been translated temporally.
23 tn Or “a dispute” (BDAG 940 s.v. στάσις 3).
24 tn Grk “there came about an argument.” This has been simplified to “an argument began”
25 tn BDAG 55 s.v. ἀμφότεροι 2 has “all, even when more than two are involved…Φαρισαῖοι ὁμολογοῦσιν τὰ ἀ. believe in them all 23:8.” On this belief see Josephus, J. W. 2.8.14 (2.163); Ant. 18.1.3 (18.14).
sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
28 tn Grk “standing up.” The participle ἀναστάντες (anastante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
29 tn Grk “protested strongly, saying.” L&N 39.27 has “διαμάχομαι: to fight or contend with, involving severity and thoroughness – ‘to protest strongly, to contend with.’…‘some scribes from the party of the Pharisees protested strongly’ Ac 23:9.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated.
30 sn “We find nothing wrong with this man.” Here is another declaration of innocence. These leaders recognized the possibility that Paul might have the right to make his claim.
31 tn This genitive absolute construction with the participle γινομένης (ginomenhs) has been taken temporally (it could also be translated as causal).
32 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). In Greek the term χιλίαρχος (ciliarco") literally described the “commander of a thousand,” but it was used as the standard translation for the Latin tribunus militum or tribunus militare, the military tribune who commanded a cohort of 600 men.
33 tn Grk “that Paul would be torn to pieces by them.” BDAG 236 s.v. διασπάω has “of an angry mob μὴ διασπασθῇ ὁ Παῦλος ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν that Paul would be torn in pieces by them Ac 23:10.” The passive construction is somewhat awkward in English and has been converted to an equivalent active construction in the translation.
34 tn Normally this term means “army,” but according to BDAG 947 s.v. στράτευμα, “Of a smaller detachment of soldiers, sing. Ac 23:10, 27.” In the plural it can be translated “troops,” but it is singular here.
35 tn Or “to go down, grab him out of their midst.”
37 sn The presence of the Lord indicated the vindicating presence and direction of God.
38 tn Grk “standing near Paul, said.” The participle ἐπιστάς (epistas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
39 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
40 tn Or “Do not be afraid.”
map For location see JP4-A1.
43 tn Grk “when it was day.”
44 tn Grk “forming a conspiracy, bound.” The participle ποιήσαντες (poihsantes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
45 tn L&N 30.72 has ‘some Jews formed a conspiracy’ Ac 23:12”; BDAG 979 s.v. συστροφή 1 has “Judeans came together in a mob 23:12. But in the last pass. the word may also mean – 2. the product of a clandestine gathering, plot, conspiracy” (see also Amos 7:10; Ps 63:3).
46 tn Or “bound themselves under a curse.” BDAG 63 s.v. ἀναθεματίζω 1 has “trans. put under a curse τινά someone…pleonastically ἀναθέματι ἀ. ἑαυτόν Ac 23:14…ἀ. ἑαυτόν vss. 12, 21, 13 v.l.” On such oaths see m. Shevi’it 3:1-5. The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in English and has not been translated.
47 tn The word “anything” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
48 tn L&N 30.73 defines συνωμοσία (sunwmosia) as “a plan for taking secret action someone or some institution, with the implication of an oath binding the conspirators – ‘conspiracy, plot.’ …‘there were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy’ Ac 23:13.”
49 tn Grk “who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) was translated by the third person plural pronoun (“them”) and a new sentence begun in the translation.
50 tn Grk “going.” The participle προσελθόντες (proselqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
51 sn They went to the chief priests. The fact that the high priest knew of this plot and did nothing shows the Jewish leadership would even become accomplices to murder to stop Paul. They would not allow Roman justice to take its course. Paul’s charge in v. 3 of superficially following the law is thus shown to be true.
52 tn Or “bound ourselves under a curse.” BDAG 63 s.v. ἀναθεματίζω 1 has “trans. put under a curse τινά someone…pleonastically ἀναθέματι ἀ. ἑαυτόν Ac 23:14…ἀ. ἑαυτόν vss. 12, 21, 13 v.l.” The pleonastic use ἀναθέματι ἀνεθεματίσαμεν (literally “we have cursed ourselves with a curse”) probably serves as an intensifier following Semitic usage, and is represented in the translation by the word “solemn.” On such oaths see m. Nedarim 3:1, 3.
54 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
57 tn Grk “determine the things about him.”
58 tn The expression “more thorough inquiry” reflects the comparative form of ἀκριβέστερον (akribesteron).
59 sn “We are ready to kill him.” Now those Jews involved in the conspiracy, along with the leaders as accomplices, are going to break one of the ten commandments.
60 tn The words “this place” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
61 tn Or “plot” (BDAG 334 s.v. ἐνέδρα).
62 tn Grk “coming and entering…, he told.” The participles παραγενόμενος (paragenomeno") and εἰσελθών (eiselqwn) have been translated as finite verbs due to requirements of contemporary English style.
64 tn Grk “calling…Paul said.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
67 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the centurion) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
69 tn Grk “calling.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
71 tn Grk “you have,” but the expression “have to report” in English could be understood to mean “must report” rather than “possess to report.” For this reason the nearly equivalent expression “want to report,” which is not subject to misunderstanding, was used in the translation.
72 tn Grk “He said.”
73 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
74 tn Grk “do not be persuaded by them.” The passive construction μὴ πεισθῇς αὐτοῖς (mh peisqh" autoi") has been converted to an active construction in the translation, and the phrase “to do this” supplied to indicate more clearly the object of their persuasion.
75 tn Grk “forty men of them.” In the expression ἐξ αὐτῶν ἄνδρες (ex autwn andre") “men” is somewhat redundant and has not been included in the English translation.
77 tn Grk “for him, who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“who”) was translated by the third person plural pronoun (“they”) and a new sentence begun in the translation.
78 tn Or “bound themselves under a curse.” BDAG 63 s.v. ἀναθεματίζω 1 has “trans. put under a curse τινά someone… ἀ. ἑαυτόν vss. 12, 21, 13 v.l.”
79 tn The word “anything” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
80 tn Grk “waiting for your approval,” “waiting for your agreement.” Since it would be possible to misunderstand the literal translation “waiting for your approval” to mean that the Jews were waiting for the commander’s approval to carry out their plot or to kill Paul (as if he were to be an accomplice to their plot), the object of the commander’s approval (their request to bring Paul to the council) has been specified in the translation as “their request.”
82 tn BDAG 760 s.v. παραγγέλλω has “to make an announcement about someth. that must be done, give orders, command, instruct, direct of all kinds of persons in authority, worldly rulers, Jesus, the apostles…παραγγέλλειν w. an inf. and μή comes to mean forbid to do someth.: π. τινί w. aor. inf. Lk 5:14; 8:56; without the dat., which is easily supplied fr. the context Ac 23:22.” However, if the direct discourse which follows is to be retained in the translation, a different translation must be used since it is awkward to introduce direct discourse with the verb to forbid. Thus the alternative to direct was used.
83 tn On this verb, see BDAG 325-26 s.v. ἐμφανίζω 2. The term was frequently used of an official report to authorities. In modern terms, this was a police tip.
84 tn Grk “And.” Since this represents a response to the reported ambush, καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the logical sequence.
85 tn Grk “summoning…he said.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
88 tn Or “cavalrymen.”
89 tn A military technical term of uncertain meaning. BDAG 217 s.v. δεξιολάβος states, “a word of uncertain mng., military t.t., acc. to Joannes Lydus…and Theophyl. Sim., Hist. 4, 1 a light-armed soldier, perh. bowman, slinger; acc. to a scholion in CMatthaei p. 342 body-guard….Spearman Goodspd., NRSV; ‘security officer’, GDKilpatrick, JTS 14, ’63, 393f.”
sn Two hundred soldiers…along with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen. The resulting force assembled to guard Paul was almost a full cohort. The Roman commander was taking no chances, but was sending the issue up the chain of command to the procurator to decide.
90 tn Grk “from.”
91 tn Grk “from the third hour of the night.”
92 tn Grk “provide mounts to put Paul on.”
sn Mounts for Paul to ride. The fact they were riding horses indicates they wanted everyone to move as quickly as possible.
93 sn Felix the governor was Antonius Felix, a freedman of Antonia, mother of the Emperor Claudius. He was the brother of Pallas and became procurator of Palestine in
94 tn Grk “Felix the procurator.” The official Roman title has been translated as “governor” (BDAG 433 s.v. ἡγεμών 2).
95 tn Grk “writing.” Due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun here in the translation, supplying “he” (referring to the commanding officer, Claudius Lysias) as subject. The participle γράψας (grayas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
96 tn Grk “having this form,” “having this content.” L&N 33.48 has “γράψσς ἐπιστολὴν ἔχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον ‘then he wrote a letter that went like this’ Ac 23:25. It is also possible to understand ἐπιστολή in Ac 23:25 not as a content or message, but as an object (see 6.63).”
97 tn Grk “Procurator.” The official Roman title has been translated as “governor” (BDAG 433 s.v. ἡγεμών 2).
100 tn Grk “and was about to be killed by them.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one in the translation for stylistic reasons.
101 tn Or “approached.”
102 tn Normally this term means “army,” but according to BDAG 947 s.v. στράτευμα, “Of a smaller detachment of soldiers, sing. Ac 23:10, 27.” In the plural it can be translated “troops,” but it is singular here.
103 tn In Greek this is a present tense retained in indirect discourse.
104 tn The word “citizen” is supplied here for emphasis and clarity.
sn The letter written by the Roman commander Claudius Lysias was somewhat self-serving. He made it sound as if the rescue of a Roman citizen had been a conscious act on his part. In fact, he had made the discovery of Paul’s Roman citizenship somewhat later. See Acts 21:37-39 and 22:24-29.
105 tn Or “determine.”
106 tn Grk “to know the charge on account of which they were accusing him.” This has been simplified to eliminate the prepositional phrase and relative pronoun δι᾿ ἣν (di’ }hn) similar to L&N 27.8 which has “‘I wanted to find out what they were accusing him of, so I took him down to their Council’ Ac 23:28.”
107 tn Grk “their Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
108 tn Grk “whom I found.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) has been changed to a personal pronoun (“he”) and a new sentence begun in the translation at this point.
109 tn BDAG 428 s.v. ζήτημα states, “in our lit. only in Ac, w. the mng. it still has in Mod. Gk. (controversial) question, issue, argument…Ac 15:2; 26:3. ζ. περί τινος questions about someth.…18:15; 25:19. – In 23:29, since περί had already been used, the subj. of the discussion is added in the gen. ζ. τοῦ νόμου αὐτῶν.”
sn With reference to controversial questions. Note how the “neutral” Roman authorities saw the issue. This was a religious rather than a civil dispute. See Acts 18:15.
110 tn Grk “but having no charge worthy of death or imprisonment.” BDAG 273-74 s.v. ἔγκλημα 1 has “legal t.t.…ἔ. ἄξιον θανάτου ἢ δεσμῶν a charge deserving death or imprisonment 23:29.”
sn Despite the official assessment that no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment, there was no effort to release Paul.
111 tn Grk “It being revealed to me.” The participle μηνυθείσης (mhnuqeish") has been taken temporally.
113 tn Grk “the things against him.” This could be rendered as “accusations,” “grievances,” or “charges,” but since “ordered his accusers to state their accusations” sounds redundant in English, “charges” was used instead.
115 tn Grk “taking.” The participle ἀναλαβόντες (analabonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
116 sn Antipatris was a city in Judea about 35 mi (55 km) northwest of Jerusalem (about halfway to Caesarea). It was mentioned several times by Josephus (Ant. 13.15.1 [13.390]; J. W. 1.4.7 [1.99]).
117 tn Grk “letting.” The participle ἐάσαντες (easante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
118 tn Or “cavalrymen.”
120 tn Grk “who, coming to Caesarea.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek construction, a new sentence was begun here in the translation. The relative pronoun (“who”) has been replaced with the referent (the horsemen) in the translation for clarity.
123 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the governor) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
124 tn Grk “having read.” The participle ἀναγνούς (anagnou") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
125 tn The words “the letter” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
126 tn Grk “and asking.” The participle ἐπερωτήσας (eperwthsa") has been translated as a finite verb and καί (kai) left untranslated due to requirements of contemporary English style.
127 sn Governor Felix asked what province he was from to determine whether he had legal jurisdiction over Paul. He could have sent him to his home province for trial, but decided to hear the case himself.
128 tn Grk “and learning.” The participle πυθόμενος (puqomeno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
129 sn Cilicia was a province in northeastern Asia Minor.
130 tn Or “I will hear your case.” BDAG 231 s.v. διακούω has “as legal t.t. give someone an opportunity to be heard in court, give someone (τινός) a hearing Ac 23:35”; L&N 56.13 has “to give a judicial hearing in a legal matter – ‘to hear a case, to provide a legal hearing, to hear a case in court.’”
131 tn Grk “ordering.” The participle κελεύσας (keleusas) has been translated as a finite verb and a new sentence begun here due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence. “Then” has also been supplied to indicate the logical and temporal sequence.
132 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
133 sn Herod’s palace (Grk “Herod’s praetorium”) was the palace built in Caesarea by Herod the Great. See Josephus, Ant. 15.9.6 (15.331). These events belong to the period of