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Acts 24:12-21

Context
24:12 They did not find me arguing 1  with anyone or stirring up a crowd 2  in the temple courts 3  or in the synagogues 4  or throughout the city, 5  24:13 nor can they prove 6  to you the things 7  they are accusing me of doing. 8  24:14 But I confess this to you, that I worship 9  the God of our ancestors 10  according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law 11  and that is written in the prophets. 24:15 I have 12  a hope in God (a hope 13  that 14  these men 15  themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16  24:16 This is the reason 17  I do my best to always 18  have a clear 19  conscience toward God and toward people. 20  24:17 After several years 21  I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor 22  and to present offerings, 23  24:18 which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, 24  without a crowd or a disturbance. 25  24:19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia 26  who should be here before you and bring charges, 27  if they have anything against me. 24:20 Or these men here 28  should tell what crime 29  they found me guilty of 30  when I stood before the council, 31  24:21 other than 32  this one thing 33  I shouted out while I stood before 34  them: ‘I am on trial before you today concerning the resurrection of the dead.’” 35 

1 tn Or “disputing,” “conducting a heated discussion.”

2 tn BDAG 381 s.v. ἐπίστασις 2 has “. ποιεῖν ὄχλου to cause a crowd to gather Ac 24:12.” Roman authorities would not allow a mob to gather and threaten the peace, and anyone suspected of instigating a mob would certainly be arrested.

3 tn Grk “in the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly.

4 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.

5 sn A second part of Paul’s defense is that he did nothing while he was in Jerusalem to cause unrest, neither arguing nor stirring up a crowd in the temple courts or in the synagogues or throughout the city.

6 tn BDAG 778 s.v. παρίστημι/παριστάνω 1.f has “οὐδὲ παραστῆσαι δύνανταί σοι περὶ ὧν νυνὶ κατηγοροῦσίν μου nor can they prove to you the accusations they are now making against me Ac 24:13.”

sn Nor can they prove. This is a formal legal claim that Paul’s opponents lacked proof of any wrongdoing. They had no witness who could justify the arrest at the temple.

7 tn The words “the things” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

8 tn Grk “nor can they prove to you [the things] about which they are now accusing me.” This has been simplified to eliminate the relative pronoun (“which”) in the translation.

9 tn Or “serve.”

10 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

11 sn That is, the law of Moses. Paul was claiming that he legitimately worshiped the God of Israel. He was arguing that this amounted to a religious dispute rather than a political one, so that the Roman authorities need not concern themselves with it.

12 tn Grk “having.” The participle ἔχων (ecwn) has been translated as a finite verb and a new sentence begun at this point in the translation because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence.

13 sn This mention of Paul’s hope sets up his appeal to the resurrection of the dead. At this point Paul was ignoring the internal Jewish dispute between the Pharisees (to which he had belonged) and the Sadducees (who denied there would be a resurrection of the dead).

14 tn Grk “a hope in God (which these [men] themselves accept too).” Because the antecedent of the relative pronoun “which” is somewhat unclear in English, the words “a hope” have been repeated at the beginning of the parenthesis for clarity.

15 tn Grk “that they”; the referent (these men, Paul’s accusers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 tn Or “the unjust.”

sn This is the only mention of the resurrection of the unrighteous in Acts. The idea parallels the idea of Jesus as the judge of both the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 17:31).

17 tn BDAG 329 s.v. ἐν 9.a, “ἐν τούτῳ πιστεύομεν this is the reason why we believe Jn 16:30; cp. Ac 24:16.”

18 tn BDAG 224 s.v. διά 2.a, “διὰ παντόςalways, continually, constantlyAc 2:25 (Ps 15:8); 10:2; 24:16.” However, the positioning of the adverb “always” in the English translation is difficult; the position used is one of the least awkward.

19 tn BDAG 125 s.v. ἀπρόσκοπος 1 has “. συνείδησις a clear conscience Ac 24:16.”

20 tn Grk “men,” but this is a generic use (Paul does not have only males in view).

21 tn BDAG 401 s.v. ἔτος has “δι᾿ ἐ. πλειόνων after several years 24:17.”

22 tn Grk “to bring alms,” but the term “alms” is not in common use today, so the closest modern equivalent, “gifts for the poor,” is used instead.

23 tn Or “sacrifices.” BDAG 887 s.v. προσφορά 1 has “προσφοράς ποιεῖν have sacrifices made Ac 24:17,” but this may be overly specific. It is not clear from the immediate context whether the offering of sacrificial animals (so BDAG assumes) or offerings of some other sort (such as financial gifts) are in view. The combination with ἐλεημοσύνας (elehmosuna") in the preceding clause may suggest monetary offerings. Some have suggested this is an allusion to the payments made by Paul on behalf of the four other men mentioned in Acts 21:23-26, but the text here seems to suggest something Paul had planned to do before he came, while the decision to pay for the expenses of the men in 21:23ff. was made at the suggestion of the Jerusalem leadership after he arrived. In either case, Paul was portraying himself as a pious worshiper of his God.

24 sn Ritually purified. Paul’s claim here is that he was honoring the holiness of God by being sensitive to issues of ritual purity. Not only was he not guilty of the charges against him, but he was thoroughly devout.

25 tn BDAG 458 s.v. θόρυβος 3.b has “μετὰ θορύβουwith a disturbance Ac 24:18.”

26 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.

27 tn BDAG 533 s.v. κατηγορέω 1 states, “nearly always as legal t.t.: bring charges in court.” L&N 33.427 states for κατηγορέω (kathgorew), “to bring serious charges or accusations against someone, with the possible connotation of a legal or court context – ‘to accuse, to bring charges.’”

sn Who should be here…and bring charges. Paul was asking, where were those who brought about his arrest and claimed he broke the law? His accusers were not really present. This subtle point raised the issue of injustice.

28 tn Grk “these [men] themselves.”

29 tn Or “unrighteous act.”

30 tn The words “me guilty of” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. L&N 88.23 has “αὐτοὶ οὗτοι εἰπάτωσαν τί εὗρον ἀδίκημα στάντος μου ‘let these men themselves tell what unrighteous act they found me guilty of’ Ac 24:20.”

31 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).

32 tn BDAG 433 s.v. 2.c has “οὐδὲν ἕτερον ἤ nothing else thanAc 17:21. τί what otherthan24:21.”

33 tn Grk “one utterance.”

34 tn Cf. BDAG 327 s.v. ἐν 1.e, which has “before, in the presence of, etc.”

35 sn The resurrection of the dead. Paul’s point was, what crime was there in holding this religious belief?



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